8. Providing a vision for the future is essential.
Now that the one-year anniversary of the COVID lockdown has passed, it’s time to look forward. Leaders understand how essential it is to provide a vision of the future and inspire others to travel that journey with them. We can only be successful bushwhacking through the sawgrass of our day-to-day challenges if we can imagine the waterfall waiting for us at the end. It’s up to leaders to keep reminding us of that vision. During COVID, it was easy to get stuck in the immediate challenges right in front of us, to just put one foot in front of the other and to think only from one day to the next. But that work, though vital, was not enough. We needed a vision of what it would look like after COVID ended. We needed hope that, indeed, that day would come. We needed someone to show us the light at the end of the tunnel–and to reassure us it wasn’t an oncoming train. Judaism understands that. Moses led the Israelites through the desert by painting a picture of the Promised Land. They were often miserable, complaining over and over again, but Moses rallied their spirts time and time again with a vision for the future. There is the parable of a man who sees a bricklayer and asks what he’s doing. The bricklayer replies impatiently, “What does it look like? I’m laying bricks.” Walking further along, the man asks another bricklayer what he’s doing, and that man replies hastily, “I’m busy. I’m building a wall.” The man continues on and sees another bricklayer and upon asking him, the bricklayer smiles and serenely says, “I’m building a cathedral.” The third bricklayer was at peace knowing that he was engaged in a difficult task that was part of a grand vision. So, as you think about this next year, spend some time dreaming and then share your vision for the future with those who count on you to keep them going. It could make all the difference in them continuing the journey.