Nehemiah saw the wall before anyone else. Not the old walls. Everyone who had returned saw the devastation and rubble the Babylonians left behind. Nehemiah saw the walls rebuilt before anyone else. Not on an architect’s drawing board. Not in an artist’s depiction. But in dreams and visions that now preoccupied his daily thoughts. Images that obscured his ability to move on with anything else. Nehemiah had a vision. He saw the walls completed. God had birthed this vision…drawn it in the deep places of his spirit. It bordered on an obsession that made it worth risking everything…his job, position, reputation, his money…even if necessary his life.
Leaders see things first. Every building project that becomes reality has already been clearly projected on the screen of the leader’s mind. It’s not in question to the leader. Every business start-up, military campaign, staff restructure, or idea is seen, felt, or tasted by the leader first. Ray Kroc tasted the first McDonald hamburger. Howard Schultz refined Pike Place coffee and passed the expertise on to the first Starbucks barista. Leaders see things first. They lead from a vision toward that vision. They help others see what they see.
The second essential item in the leader’s backpack is a vision that they have lived in, walked through, or tasted first.
Even in decision-making, vision drives the process. I have counseled numerous young pastors in processing a vital question: “How do you know when God is in a move, a change, or a different path?” The answer is this: When God is in something He will always give you dreams and visions about it. If He hasn’t, the decision is not from Him.