A lot of people associate leadership with being a visionary as if one quality naturally begets the other.
Unfortunately, this is not so and there are people who are great at visioning an idea but truly cannot lead it to execution. There are also people great at executing but cannot envision a strategy.Vision is important but vision without execution is futile. Execution is important but executing without a vision is folly.
The people we remember the most as having changed history are those that can envision a strategy AND can also see it to fruition.
How do you connect the dots between a vision and its execution? Here are the steps I have observed of the people who I believe were able to not only envision ideas but also saw them through fulfillment.
1. They OBSERVE their current environment and look at opportunities or gaps. It can be a simple product that takes half the time of doing a task or it can be a grand plan of remodeling a city to make it more sustainable.
2. They create possible solutions and define the BENEFITS vs COST for each one(quantitatively and qualitatively)
3. They PRIORITIZE the possible solutions and define risks vs opportunities for each one and decide which solution will make the most sense to do.
4. They further scrutinize their ideas and define what RESOURCES they need to make their visions into reality and start the process of connecting the dots between the idea and the final product.
5. They MARKET their ideas to the relevant stakeholders and get buy in and support.
6. They see their ideas through with such persistence that they don't rest until their ideas either become reality or they realize that the actual cost is costing prohibitively more than the foreseen benefits.
At the end of the day - a visionary who just envisions but cannot fathom how to execute is just a dreamer and a person who just executes without the guidance of a strategy is a lost soul.