Creating a unifying vision is a fundamental skill for leaders because it brings people together to achieve a better future. You don't need to be a CEO to do this; as a manager (and aspiring leader) there are plenty of opportunities to get hands-on experience in shaping the vision.

Here are three ways you can contribute and propel your professional development, leading to more significant responsibilities over time:

1) Helping shape the company’s vision. Crafting a vision requires an element of seeing into the future. Good senior leaders know they are missing critical information because they are often far removed from the daily realities. Raising your hand to volunteer your perspective will help you begin developing your vision-creation abilities.

2) Translating the company vision for your team. Even if you don’t have a chance to help shape your company’s vision, as a leader at any level you can work with your team to translate the vision for your particular group or function.

3) Catalyzing your vision. Often, a new company vision doesn’t begin with a CEO and instead bubbles up from more junior leaders. Even if your company isn't ready for vision redevelopment; the need for continual innovation may give you the opportunity to promote new ideas that can demonstrate the potential for reinvention in your company.

Visioning is for anyone with the courage to dream and speak up. And like any leadership capability, it requires practice, and there’s no better way to get that practice than learning by doing and jumping on smaller opportunities to contribute.


Inspired by: Harvard Business Review - You Don’t Have to Be CEO to Be a Visionary Leader, by Ron Ashkenas and Brook Manville