Through the ages, many people have said that if you visualize something, it will eventually come true. This principle has been most commonly applied to wealth where people believe that if you visualize yourself rich, you will eventually become rich (e.g. Think and Grow Rich, The Science of Getting Rich).
There was an article in the Wall Street Journal called Can You Get Rich by Visualizing Yourself Rich? by Robert Frank that explained what happens when you visualize something. He discussed the ideas that go with visualization. Robert wrote about Sara Blakely, the billionaire founder of Spanx, because she is a proponent of visualization. Sara said, “I believe you can take mental snapshots of your future and what success looks like to you. If you mentally see yourself in a scenario, you’ll start to make decisions in your life that get you there.” In addition to talking about the proponents of visualization and how to visualize, Robert mentioned that many critics say visualization is just a flight from realism.
What Should You Visualize?
I believe that if you visualize success, you are far more likely to be successful if you couple that vision with action. Without a vision success is very difficult. Leaders need to create a vision for their companies to be successful. A vision is important because it causes you to stretch. As a leader, the following three things will lead to your success.
Have a vision of your success.
There is a saying that, “If you imagine something, you will begin to think about how to make it happen. And if you think about how to make it happen, you will figure out what to do to make it happen. Then if you think about what to do to make it happen long enough, you will eventually do it.” All actions start out as thoughts in your head. By envisioning success, you allow yourself to think bigger. The more you visualize success, the more you act as though you are successful. You gradually gain more confidence in yourself and your abilities which causes you to perform better.
Have a vision of the success of your employees.
Have you ever worked for someone that didn’t believe in you or expected you to fail and treated you accordingly? In that situation, it was probably hard to be successful because you didn’t have someone who believed in you. In addition to visualizing your own success, when you visualize the success of your employees you will help them to be successful. You will help them reach success because you see their potential, and you work to help them reach it.
Have a vision of the organization’s success.
Whether you are a middle or upper level leader, you have a lot of power to help your organization be successful. When you have a vision for the organization, it will rub off on others until they catch the vision as well. You will be motivated to see that vision turn into a reality. Your motivation will be contagious and spread to those around you.
Your vision for yourself, your employees, and the organization will have a major impact on the amount of effort you put into your job. So what do you think? Does visualization work as a leader? What are your thoughts on visualization? Do you think having a vision is helpful or do you believe it is just an escape from reality? Please share your thoughts and feelings in the comments section below!