Leaders Hold the Vision with 3 Simple Imperatives

Leaders Hold the Vision with 3 Simple Imperatives


The challenges we are facing across the globe, here in the US, and right in our backyards are more complex, more intense and more immediate than in any recent time.

We need a clear pathway forward, and we need to come together if we are to move along that pathway successfully.

All of us are leaders.  We lead organizations and teams in industry, in government, in non-profits and in our communities.  We are leaders in our families. We often take the lead in relationships with others, and most especially, every day, we lead ourselves.

Our fundamental job as leaders, in fact, our first priority as leaders, is to “Hold the Vision.” Holding the Vision requires of us a strong commitment to a set of core principles and values as well as clarity regarding the mission to which we are dedicated. Effective leaders Hold the Vision by a sustained observance of three fundamental imperatives. They work to: (1) Stay Calm, (2) Stay Connected and (3) Stay the Course.


  1. Stay Calm: Be curious about the reactive behaviors within yourself, in others, and in the emotional systems of which you are a part. Find ways to be less anxious than those you lead. But remember that staying calm does not mean staying quiet.
  2. Stay Connected: Maintain a healthy balance in your leadership presence. Work to remain close enough to influence others, yet distant enough to lead them. Remember that maintaining a healthy close-distant relationship with those you lead is an ongoing balancing act. Building and sustaining healthy relationships is the work of a lifetime.
  3. Stay the Course: Act Boldly in the Face of Increased Complexity and Escalating Change. Be brave. Learn how to stand apart and even when to stand alone. In order to Hold the Vision, you must be courageous, determined, and persistent.

Try It:

The challenges that leaders encounter in 2021 will continue to be daunting. Leaders at every level and in every situation will have an opportunity to set and Hold the Vision for something that really matters to them.  The list of opportunities, causes and needs is great.

What will you select that you judge to be worthy of your time and energy?

  • Decide
  • Remember the three imperatives
  • Hold the Vision
  • Lead