Image-Based Vision Statements

Which of these visions is more inspiring?

“I hope that someday we will achieve full racial equality.”

“I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”

Visions that rely on images to create a mental picture in the mind’s eye (like the quote in green) are more inspiring than abstract visions (like the quote in blue). Martin Luther King, Jr. seemed to understand this intuitively, but most leaders don’t. This research article discusses this problem and tests a technique to help leaders communicate a vivid, image-based vision.

Read How Can Leaders Overcome the Blurry Vision Bias? Identifying an Antidote to the Paradox of Vision Communication in the Academy of Management Journal.

About the Author

Ben Butina, Ph.D.
Dr. Butina, who hosts the Department 12 Podcast, is an industrial-organizational psychologist with interests in training, leadership development, talent management, and positive psychology in the workplace.

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