Enjoy this excerpt from our new book, Healthy Leadership.

About 350 years ago, a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America. The first year, they established a town site. The next year, they elected a town government. The third year, the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness.

In the fourth year, the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build that road. Who needed to go there anyway?

These were people who had the vision to see 3,000 miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years, they were not able to see even five miles down the road. They had lost their pioneering spirit, or had they?

Had the town council articulated the benefits of the new road—access to the river and a better water supply—the people may well have approved the funds to build the road. Without clear vision, we rarely move beyond our current state. Yet with a clear vision of what we can become, no ocean of difficulty is too great.

That said, be cautious of charging forward too quickly because you might look back and not see your team behind you. As a visionary client once put it, “If you get too far out in front of your troops, you start looking like the enemy.” In the distance between you and your team, clarity about the future can turn hazy.

Healthy Leadership Book