John Chamber, CEO Cisco Systems, is a renowned tech leader. He's been described as a "visionary," and his keynote speeches are annotated epics of mass hysteria. Alright I'm exaggerating a little, however, Mr. Chamber's is commonly described with adjectives such as "electrifying" and "passionate." I saw a video of him posted online, from Sept. 2006. I definitely saw a charismatic leader with a clear vision.
Vision is, according to many wise individuals, the power behind passion and results. Arnold Schwarzenneger said, "If you show people what's coming and how to get there, it changes everything." Vision is also what Arnold used to propel him to bodybuilding glory; he used to visualize becoming Mr. Universe as early as age 15, and by age 20 realized his vision become manifest.
I think we can start to see a clear pattern here. But wait...vision can't be everything...sure it sounds inspiring, but so what? Well, let me give you another good example. USAA is a privately held insurance company w/ its main headquarters in San Antonio, TX. They are ranked #1 or close to #1 in almost every meaningful business category; from customer service, to employee turnover.
Having worked their many years back, I got some insight into this highly acclaimed organization. USAA is, pardon the word, "cult-like," in the sense that it galvanizes and makes people feel as though they are part of a larger whole. The first 2 weeks of a new-hires orientation are spent in "corporate culture." They drill into the minds of every employee a vision that is so powerful, that their turnover ration is ridiculously low. They are a perfect example of what a properly used vision belief can do.
The science behind success is not to be forgotten; i.e., product development, self-discipline, etc. Vision, however, being somewhat intangible should be the underlying foundation of everything that intends on achieving great heights. A compelling vision is formed by having numerous "why's." This means having emotional ties to the vision...all the reasons why it has to be such and such way. Leverage the power of vision in your own self for your goals, leverage it to inspire the groups you belong to, and use it to lead organizational change if you're a leader.