The Function of Vision and the Goodness of Leadership

Listen to this on the Short Takes Podcast or on your favorite podcast app (episode 48).


The function of vision is a story that we constantly write about our lives. We explain our lives, our place in the world – our families, our personal characteristics, our desires, our past, and also our work. This story explains why we conduct ourselves in the way that we do. We create an image of who we are and who we want to be. Every day, each person writes this story, selecting the actions that align with his or her role as the central character in the story.


This story can drive us forward, towards our goals and over obstacles. Or it can hinder us, keeping us in a place where we are not happy or fulfilled. We use it to justify our behavior, based on the pain we have experienced in life. This process of storytelling is constant, in everything that we do. It is so ingrained into what it means to be human that we don’t ever really notice it.


As leaders, we have to notice this story in others. If we want to bring out the best that another human being is capable of, then we have to understand how they see themselves and how we can support that self-image in positive ways. We provide the bricks that the person uses to build their storytelling home, the place where they live.


In turn, this story allows the person to become part of the organization