Many people think the ability to plan ahead is visionary, but a vision is more than just having a fall schedule. Visionary leaders see their terms in leadership as finite, so their goal is to continually build and encourage those who follow. They purpose to build up and encourage their members and their leadership and continually look for those whose strengths will benefit the group and move it in the right direction. Visionary leaders see their job as twofold: to build vision within their group and to build character and vision in themselves and their leadership team.
These leaders make an effort to be diligent to seek God’s will for the group and are flexible and creative enough to implement ideas and events that excite members and yet move the group in the right direction. Leaders who are visionary try to have the forethought and resourcefulness to build within the members of their group the character and ideals that make home schooling more than just an educational choice. They encourage their leadership team to think about and discuss the things that make home schooling unique-such as strong family ties-and plan events that encourage those traits within their membership. At each team meeting and certain group events, they try to make time to talk about their vision, and they participate in group activities and stay closely connected with the membership so they have a real feel for where the membership is going and whether or not it is moving in the intended direction.
Visionary leaders pray for confidence and direction, but they are careful to keep a close rein on their pride. Although leaders must often battle the tendency to micro-manage and the feeling that they are the only ones qualified to oversee the tasks of leadership, wise leaders know that “pride goes before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18), and pride can be the biggest hindrance to building vision within a leadership team or a group. Visionary leaders know that new leaders are more successful if they have the advantage of working with experienced leadership, and that means finding a balance that will allow new leaders to learn and still have the freedom to gain a sense of ownership. They are also careful to keep in mind that no one will do everything exactly the way they themselves do it or would like it done. Wise leaders realize mistakes are unavoidable and should be handled with grace, but they are also able to recognize the difference between an error and simply a different approach to the same project or problem.
Support group leadership is often viewed as a ministry, but wise leaders remind each other of Psalm 127:1-“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain”—and they try to remember that the group belongs to God, not the leadership. When, as leaders, they feel burned-out and inadequate or notice those feelings in their fellow leaders, they encourage one another and together prayerfully consider whether it is time to pass on responsibilities. Also, a careful heart-search might be needed when leaders feel no one else is qualified to fill their position. Perhaps if no one else is qualified, it is possible that the time isn’t right to hand down the job, the position isn’t necessary and should be dropped, or pride is hindering. If God raised one person to fill the position, then when the time is right, He will raise another; wise leaders are careful not to stand in the way.
As leaders, we do not need to be reminded that we will make mistakes, but a wise leader will learn from mistakes, continue to grow in character, and continue to press on, ever mindful of the path that lies ahead and of those who follow.
Sheila Campbell – has written 31 posts on this site.
Sheila Campbell began homeschooling in 1991 and graduated the last of her four children in the spring of 2009. In 1994, she and her husband co-founded Integrity Educators, a local home school support group in Plainview. Sheila has continued in leadership for eleven of the last fourteen years.
Sheila has homeschooled as a single mom, her husband having passed away in 2001, and the mother of a special needs child. Justin, her oldest child, passed away at age 17. She and her three children reside in Hale Center.