Gathering More Information or Casting a Vision?

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by Dr. Barry E. Winders, author of The Mission Filter (WestBow Press 2021)  Email:

“When there’s no vision, the people get out of control…”

Here are three things I’ve recently learned about effectively casting vision.

  1. Listening to competing visions paralyzes the leader.

When a project leader casts vision then begins to solicit and listen to other competing visions, that leader is looking backward and not forward. Looking backward at those competing visions causes paralysis for the leader and the rest of team. Once the vision is cast, the project leader should have the awareness of new obstacles and hurdles to overcome.  But that does not constitute a newer vision or the modification of it.  Be confident of your original vision.  Defend it.  Support it.  Ask others for their buy-in.  Outline simple steps to accomplish the vision and find the desired destination and outcome.  Plan for celebration.

  1. Falling in love with the process of listening to competing visions (under the disguise of gathering more information) leads to high anxiety.

Research can be a distraction.  It can be tempting to keep looking for the “perfect” plan or vision.  Too much research makes the vision cloudy and the team anxious for consistency. Make sure that all your research, reading reviews, and interactions with experts be finished prior to casting vision.  Then, be confident. The lack of confidence creates the need to keep gathering information. Simply cast your vision.  Remember, the goal is to complete the vision and not to gather information.

  1. Clarity of vision and protecting it is always a forward step.

Clarity of vision is a forward step complete with a set of “how to” or action steps to achieve a desired outcome. A clear vision is the vehicle of how the overall mission or purpose will be accomplished.  Lack of vision clarity causes frustration in your followers, especially in those who are leading others on your behalf.  When an individual is attempting to carry out a vision they have been given, they need the assurance that the plan is firm and able to be completed. Their level of anxiety and frustration soars when the leader unfolds changes to the plan and adds more requirements than were expected. The project leader should not unveil the plan until the vision is clear and protected from competing visions.

So, before you cast vision ask yourself these questions:

  • Have I conducted sufficient research for the vision?
  • Do I view research as a step to vision casting or as the primary vision?
  • Is the vision clear to me?
  • Can I defend the vision before others?



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