Faith Centered Leadership: Visionary Leaders

Steve Jobs recently announced that he was stepping down from the role of CEO of Apple, the company he co-founded in 1976. Given his ongoing and unfortunate health challenges, this may not have been a surprise to employees, shareholders, and customers, but it was certainly a disappointment. Jobs has been the creative force behind successful technology including Macs, MacBooks, IMacs, iPod, iPads, iPhones, and iTunes. His latest is the iCloud, which according to a September 8, 2011 article in Fortune Magazine is "a set of online services designed to tie all of Apples products together and make it easier for millions of people to access music, photos, files, and software across devices". A short time ago he unveiled plans for a new headquarters for Apple in Cupertino, CA that will house 13,000 employees. The building's ring shape design has led some to call it the iSpaceship. He also created Apple University as a tool to train mid to senior level managers on their management principles, vision and way of doing things. Thus employees have no doubt what Apple stands for.

Jobs created a legacy that has impacted the way millions of people across the planet communicate and interact. He utilized technology applications to enhance the way individuals live and work. He is quite literally a visionary. Though well known for his demanding and somewhat aggressive personality, he has the ability to communicate his image of the future in a manner so compelling that others rally around it. His creativity is undeterred by naysayers, and his focus is uninterrupted.

Traits of Visionary Leaders

As I reflect on the visionary leadership of Steve Jobs and others like him, they have several traits in common.
• Visionary leaders have faith in their ability to create a different tomorrow.
• Visionary leaders see a future that is unlike the present.
• Visionary leaders convey a compelling picture of the future to others.
• Visionary leaders push the boundaries of the expected into the unexpected.
• Visionary leaders motivate people to perform beyond their normally demonstrated capabilities.
• Visionary leaders listen to their inner voice of confidence, and ignore the external voices of doubt.
• Visionary leaders see new products, processes, people and perspectives.
• Visionary leaders have strongly held beliefs, determination and focus.

Are YOU A Visionary Leader?

In a similar manner, God has a vision for our future that is far greater than what we could attain on our own. He sees a future for us resplendent with blessings as we walk in His way to achieve His great plans for our lives. You can be assured that God's vision is accompanied by the same creative powers He displayed when He formed the universe.

Each of us may have an aspect of our lives where we have the potential to become visionary leaders. Whether the vision is for our children, our spouse, our organization, our community, our business, our government, or our selves; God can give us the vision to see far into the future and visualize possibilities that others might consider almost improbable. The question is, will we glimpse that future and fall back in fear, or look boldly forward and step toward it. Will we meditate on our lack of _______ (fill in the blank) to accomplish that vision, or will we move forward undeterred by all the signs that point against it.

Just as Steve Jobs vision impacted the lives of millions of people, God's vision for you can change lives as well. Whether it effects a few or many people, it's no less important. So seek God's vision for your life. His vision, His eye is guiding you into His greatness.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Psalm 32:8 NKJV

Copyright 2011 Priscilla Archangel, Ph.D.

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