Discerning the big difference between a good and a bad vision.

By: Kamil Toume.

Simple, understandable, imaginable, describable, actionable, and most importantly humane are the key makeup of a great vision. I am not going here to preach and teach like everyone how to write and articulate a great vision and mission that inspire people. I am just showing the difference between two kinds of visions and I will leave the comparison and comment for you.

  • I envision a South Africa in which all its citizens have equal rights and where every adult would have the right to vote for the government of his or her choice. Nelson Mandela.
  • I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Martin Luther King.
  • Gandhi’s vision of the ideal society is that of a non-violent and democratic social order in which there is a just balance between individual freedom and social responsibility.

What are the common threads among all of them?  Mandela, King and Gandi described what the world looks like when their visions come true.

Let us look now at the corporate visions.

  • McDonald’s® Brand vision is “To be the best quick service restaurant experience”. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile.
  • Samsung vision 2020 is “Inspire the World, Create the Future”. This vision is at the very core of our commitment to lead innovations in technology, products and solutions that inspire communities around the world to join our aspiration for creating a better world full of richer digital experiences.
  • People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.

What is the difference between Mandela’s vision and McDonald’s one? Mandela wanted all the citizens to have equal rights. McDonald’s is about being the best and provide the quickest service.

The confusing picture for McDonald’s vision is not its articulation and formation. It is the outcome of this vision. The reason it is not inspiring and motivating action because McDonald’s envisioned a company where they want to be the best. All aspects of the business were designed to deliver that. It is about them, and it is about making profits. No matter how they do it and say it. There is an absence of a great vision that transcends moneymaking.

Kamil Toume

For Mandela’s, actions spoke louder than words, Mandela served 27 years in prison while still fighting for a democratic and free society. His vision is about his people and their liberation and freedom. This is the main difference. It is the final impact on the people’s lives. Inspiration is a combination of things that their formation and multiplication create the positive impact that people need. Great visions are not linguistically manufactured. They are action oriented to deal with a problem or a challenge that people are suffering from.

Kamil Toume

It is the leaders’ pursuit to build a better world. Great visions are social responsibility mandates, they are created and actioned by the leaders to serve their people. They are judged by the people on the ground. It is not a rocket science, people are the judges for visionary leaders and those who are not.

There is no time and place for neutrality in great and visionary leadership. There are leaders who are driven to create positive impact and value for their people and there are the non-leaders who are obsessed with making money and exploit their people. This is the big difference between a good and a bad leader and it is the same difference between a good and a bad vision.

Kamil Toume

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