Reference Guide: Vision

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Module Reference Guide


“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable” – Seneca 1 


To use a map effectively you need to know the direction in which you’re going and have a good idea of your destination. Using your purpose and aspirations as your compass to ensure that you are heading in the right direction, your vision defines where you want to get to in a defined period of time. Without making your vision a long wish list, the clearer your vision and your description of the outcomes, the easier it will be to elicit and map your priority intentions.


The Power of Vision

Loren Eiseley was a scientist and poet, and from these two perspectives, he wrote insightfully and beautifully about the world and our role in it. The Starfish Story below is adapted from ‘The Star Thrower’ by Loren Eiseley 2 and from a transcript of Joel Barker’s ‘The Power of Vision’ 3 video.

There was a writer who had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day as he looked down the beach, he saw a figure moving like a dancer in the waves. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and that he was not dancing, but instead, he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something, and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

 He called to the young man, “Good morning! What are you doing?” The young man paused, looked up, and replied, “Throwing starfish in the ocean. The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in, they’ll die.”

“But young man, don’t you realise that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it? You can’t possibly make a difference.”

The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves. “It made a difference to that one.”

His response surprised the man. He didn’t know how to reply. So, instead, he turned away and walked back to the cottage to begin his writing.

All day long, the image of the young man haunted him. Finally, he realised that he, the scientist, he the poet, had missed out on the essential nature of the young man’s actions. Because he realised that what the young man was doing was choosing not to be an observer in the world but to make a difference. He was embarrassed and went to bed troubled.

In the morning, he knew that he had to act. He went to the beach, and together with the young man, he spent the morning throwing starfish in the ocean.

We all have the ability to make a difference and the power to shape the future. That is our challenge. We must all find our starfish.

Vision without action is a dream.

Action without vision is simply passing the time.

Action with vision can change the world.

Develop a vision that is meaningful, clear, relevant to the rest of your strategy and actionable.