Future-Focused Leadership: Preparing Schools, Students, and Communities for Tomorrow's Realities

By Gary Marx | Go to book overview

PART 3

Creating a Vision
of the Future

Vision is one of the “five realities of paradigm change” identified by education consultants and authors Charles Schwahn and William Spady in their book Total Leaders (1998). In an article for Principal Leadership magazine, Spady and Schwahn declare that those realities are purpose, vision, ownership, capacity, and support. They define vision as “the clear, concrete picture of what you want your organization to look like when accomplishing its purpose and operating at its absolute or ideal best” (Spady & Schwahn, 2001).

In this part, we consider the value of history and of thinking about information and ideas that flow from environmental scans, exploring aspirations, pondering values, and meeting with others to envision and describe a preferred future. Following such an effort, we can courageously consider audacious goals that “challenge the organization to go beyond the limits of current realities and achieve its highest aspirations” (Bezold, Rhea, & Rowley, 2003).

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