Understanding the concept of a half-life: simple... Recognizing its impact on those you lead: profound... Knowing it was birthed out of a parallel to radioactivity: ominous. The point? “Vision has a half-life of seven days!” A half-life of seven days means the potency of your vision in the minds and motivations of your people diminishes by half every week. It also means that in a mere 28 days what was originally powerful will be impotent.
We frequently talk and act as if the most important criteria of leaders is the ability to create and communicate vision single-handedly. We expect leaders to develop vision from scratch and then articulate it with god-like inspiration. As a result, scores of people devalue their capacity for leadership for the simple fact that they don’t excel at this full-feature visionary role. This article attempts to redefine visionary leadership.
This unique challenge of politics is the territory that gave birth to the notion of a stump speech. Others have called it an “elevator speech.” No matter what you call it, the point is simple: if you cannot communicate your central message in 30 seconds you won’t be able to communicate it effectively in 30 minutes.
The power of vision does not come from believing it is important, but in the vision itself. This simple article is written as a primer to provide you with a process for crafting vision that is compelling and clear enough to communicate.