The Visionary Balance

How can a leader balance their Big Idea with reality? How does an energetic and passionate leader stay focused on the Vision? How does a more conservative leader energize growth?

Source: Adapted from JLI Secrets of the Bible, Lesson Three

There is a fascinating Kabbalistic discussion regarding the concept of “light” and “vessels.” “Light” means the pure, unrestrained energy of a thing, and “vessels” means the structures and mechanisms through which the light operates, the framework.

The Kabbalah explains there are two ways the world can operate: A world where the “light” is in control, or a world where the “vessels” are in control. A “light” world is dynamic, passionate, ambitious, and innovative. It is always striving for more, always trying to break its own limits, and the limits of the framework in which it operates. On the other hand, this light is fickle and unstable. It lacks discipline and focus. Its many forces are often at odds with each other and result in conflict and strife.

In the “vessels” world, the framework strongly contains and channels the light. It is efficient, harmonious, and productive. Everything is orderly, operating smoothly like a well-oiled machine. There is no conflict, as every part of the light knows its place and role in the greater good. On the other hand, this world is static. There is growth, but the growth is predictable and never exceeds expectations. There is no passion, no overdrive mode, no self-challenging, no bursting through barriers.

The Kabbalah discusses both the necessity and the difficulty of blending these two modus operandi together. Neither is complete without the other, yet if either modus is overly dominant, success is impossible, in both the spiritual and the material.

Similarly, the challenge of a Visionary is to successfully merge these two “worlds” together into one. The lightning strike of a brilliant idea will never be successful without the framework of a strategic plan. Conversely, a solid framework will never last very long without the crackling energy of a passionate idea behind it. When a Visionary leader balances these two opposing forces: energy and stability, practicality and passion, together, the impossible becomes possible.