Crafting a shared vision is one of the fundamental responsibilities of all leaders, servant-leaders included.*
So without further ado, here (in alphabetical order by author) are 15 great quotes about leadership vision, relevant to the workplace.
- “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” – Lewis Carrol (attributed**)
- “Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas Edison (attributed)
- “A mark of a leader, an attribute that puts him in a position to show the way for others, is that he is better than most at pointing the direction. As long as he is leading he always has a goal.” – Robert K. Greenleaf
- “Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs.” – Vaclav Havel
- “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” – Theodore Hesburgh
- “A healthy vision of the future is not possible without an accurate knowledge of the past.” – Daisaku Ikeda
- “Words, like glass, obscure when they do not aid vision.” – Joseph Joubert
- “The most pathetic person in the world is some one who has sight but no vision.” – Helen Keller (attributed)
- “Rowing harder doesn’t help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction.” – Kenichi Ohma
- “If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- “Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
- “To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind.” – Seneca
- “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” – Jonathan Swift
- “The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.” – Thucydides
- “Capital isn’t scarce; vision is.” – Sam Walton
Here’s one more, just for fun:
“I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.” – Mark Twain
Do you like any of these quotes in particular? Do you have a favorite quote to add about leadership vision?
Let us know.
As always, we appreciate your views.
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** I love the quote, though Lewis Carrol probably didn’t say it. Here’s what Carrol did say in Chapter 6 of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – an exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat:
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“—so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”