I want to be significant. I want my life to matter. I want to make a difference, but reality oftentimes breeds tension between desire and demand. Do I become a leader who pioneers the dreams of someone else or do I be revolutionary and start something new?
We all face this tension at some point or another. When we first encounter it, we immediately imagine ourselves to be the revolutionary. But over time, what actually ends up happening is that we become the leader. This is not bad because we are still making a difference by being a leader. But the problem is that we fit into the mold of what someone else has created and basically lead the hell out of their dreams. The difference between the two has the possibility to radically change our society.
The difference between visionaries and leaders is that visionaries see what’s not there. [Tweet that by clicking here]
They look out into the unknown and see something bold, something daring, something new. And then they move forward into the uncharted territory and create what society so desperately needs them to provide.
The leader looks in the other direction and sees what has already been made. They look for ways they can rise to the top out of what someone else has already laid claim to. The leader can be perfectly content with leading what others have created, but the visionary can’t be unless they themselves create.
To effectively make a change in our society, we need to be both visionaries and leaders. [Tweet that]
We need people who step out into the barren land of uncreated dreams and form something new. But we also need leaders who step out into this territory because in our noisy and pluralistic society, we only form something new by interacting with the old in a fresh way.
The leader needs to marinate in what others have created before they can have the courage and wisdom to move on from there. After all, we don’t create ex nihilo.
Be the visionary and leader that creativity requires you to be.