What is America’s picture of the future?

Continuing our recent "unpacking & reprise" of past teachings and mentorship of Kenneth Blanchard's "Vision for America."

Today, we're going to talk about our picture of the future for America.

Blanchard (with a nod and a wink to Covey) would encourage us to think with the end in mind rather than the focus on the process of making the sausage.

Not abstract but rather a mental image that you can see. 

Jack Bowsher, former Director of Education for IBM and author of Educating Voters for Rebuilding America, suggests a picture of the future for our country that I think most Americans could get passionate about:

“Americans want to live in peace and be able to support themselves financially throughout their adult years with at least a middle-class standard of living. During their lifetime, they will need affordable health care and excellent education systems. … In their senior years, retired Americans should be able to continue living an independent life with the help of a government pension plus the income they can earn from their investments. Americans will always enjoy the personal freedom that the United States Constitution guarantees all citizens.”

(EDITORS NOTE: "For my nickel, that sounds about right.")

Recently, and in my view, we have lost our way. Purpose, who we are as a country is certainly a bit muddled; picture of the future? Equally muddled. We can do better—starting with placing the interests of others and the country first rather than enriching ourselves. 

So to summarize, the first and second aspects of a compelling vision—a significant purpose and a picture of the future—are powerful, but those two components alone do not create a truly enduring vision.

Next time: The third element–clear values.