VISION (Q3.8)

The Ability To See The Necessary Outcomes That Form The Path To Accomplishing An Articulated Purpose.

Vision is the first of the four F3 Leadership Skills (VAPE). These are the abilities that enable a Q to do what a Leader does, as opposed to the F3 Leadership Characteristics, which are the attributes that enable the Q to be what a Leader is. Vision is a Skill, not a Characteristic.

Vision is the ability to see the necessary Outcomes that form the path to accomplishing an Articulated Purpose. Outcomes, in the deliberate sense meant here, are the necessary interim stages toward a larger goal. What Leaders see when they Visualize is both the goal (the Articulated Purpose) and the interim stages (the Outcomes) required to get there. Leadership begins with Vision.

Because Visualization is inherent in Leadership, describing a man as a “visionary leader” is like saying that a lake is full of “wet water”

Water is by definition wet, so a substance that is not wet cannot be water. It is the same for a Leader. A man who does not Visualize cannot do what a Leader does. Of course, as with any other Skill, some men are more Visionary than others. Therefore, a man can still be a Leader without the Vision of a Martin Luther or a Martin Luther King. He will just be a different kind of Leader.

Visions come in all shapes and sizes

A Leader’s Vision is unique to him. But that does need mean that it must be the product of high genius or blinding and devine inspiration (although it might be). Unique can mean nothing more than a small change required to build the slightly better mousetrap, something incrementally different and better than the Status Quo.

In fact, while there may be a few great leaps forward in history, most Movements are built upon a series of incremental changes within a metamorphosis so slow that it would take time-lapse photography for the human eye to discern it. So, while the Wright Brothers’ Articulated Purpose of creating a machine capable of flight was the product of a Vision, so was the idea of putting flaps on the wings to help airplanes take off and land more efficiently.

Certainly, some Visions are bigger and more radically unique than others. Which is why we know who the Wright Brothers are but can’t readily name the men who Visualized the flap on a wing. The bigger and more radically unique the Vision, the more IMPACT it will have. Of course, the more radically unique it is, the more likely the Vision is to spectacularly fail, so Leaders who Visualize big unique Outcomes are also men who are generally willing to take big risks to put them into Movement. Not all Leaders are hard-wired that way, which does not make them any less of a Leader, just a different kind of Leader.

The Q does not limit or define Visualization in terms of relative Virtue

This is not because the Q tolerates evil Outcomes any more than he tolerates evil men, but only because it is dangerous to the Community to ignore the big and radically unique Outcomes that are periodically Visualized by evil and radically twisted minds. Hitler and Stalin were great (as in big, not as in good) Visualizers and there is little point in pretending otherwise. In fact, it is a critical mistake to soft-pedal the threat posed by Leaders based on judgments about their lack of character. This is what results from the confusion and conflation of the Leadership Skills with the Leadership Characteristics. A man of low character can be (and often is) a man of high skill.

Bad men are able to Influence other men to Move toward horrible Outcomes all the time

A Movement led by an evil man will not fail solely because its foundational elements are immoral. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union reside in history’s dumpster because the United States tore them down and put them there, not because the world waited patiently for them to rot from within for lack of Virtue. Had it done that, we would be speaking German or Russian right now.

History being in the habit of repeating itself, the world is now confronted by a brand of Islamofascism which some hope will self-destruct due to its inherent evilness. The past tells us otherwise. The Vision of a worldwide caliphate dominated and administered by self-appointed zealots is a powerful magnet to very many, despite its inherent evil. Without an equally powerful counter-Vision, it may well triumph.

Visualizing is a skill of which every man is capable

Without trying to launch an eschatological argument, let us agree that (whether by devine spark or random selection) every man is empowered to Visualize. Man alone among sentient beasts can reason. While our individual natures and nurtures tether each of us in varying degrees to the perceived safety and comfort of the Status Quo, we all nonetheless are able to Visualize something different, some better Outcome that is unique to our perception.

To be incapable of that is to be not-human.

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