Thing 5: How do I show vision as a leader?


In Thing 5 you will:

  • examine the meaning and importance of vision in leadership
  • think about experiences that have informed your vision for the future
  • reflect on how you use vision in your leadership and see what is possible for individuals, families and communities now and in the future.

Open Badge Information

Open Badge: SSSC 23 Things Leadership – Thing 5: Showing vision as a leader

Counts towards: SSSC 23 Things Leadership – 6 Leadership Capabilities


You may find it helpful to complete Things 1-4 before starting Thing 5.

Vision for social service workers means thinking about such questions as:

  • How could things be better for the people who use our service?
  • What can I do to make this happen?
  • What part can I play in achieving my organisation’s vision?
  • How do I ensure that those I work with share this vision, and are committed to achieving it?
  • How do I encourage improvements in performance?

Whether you are a frontline worker, manager or corporate leader, these questions are relevant to the way you understand and exercise vision in your leadership. They invite you to consider:

  • How your vision and ideas can help improve outcomes for the people who use your service
  • How things that maybe seem quite small can actually make a big difference
  • The importance of your values and attitudes
  • The understanding you have of your organisation’s values and culture
  • Your awareness of the wider context you are working in, and the overall vision that your organisation aims to achieve
  • Looking beyond day-to-day operations to develop a vision and strive for improvement
  • Harnessing the energies and expertise of those you work with
  • How you communicate vision in your leadership, in a way that:
    • inspires others to share the vision; and
    • promotes collaboration and teamwork in achieving the vision.


Watch the video on Bluebird Care below. In this resource Tracy demonstrates many qualities of a leader with vision — including the enabling of care staff to exercise “autonomy, trust, passion and safe risks” to the benefit of customers.

Recent research – Enabling leadership – identified what good leadership looks like in Scotland’s social services. The research proposed a theory of change and logic model. If you look at the Leadership Logic Model you will see that there are descriptors under the headings for:

  • What do good leaders bring?
  • What do good leaders do?
  • How do good leaders engage?

Many of these characteristics, behaviours and attitudes are central to developing, communicating and achieving vision.

  • Having looked at the Bluebird Care video, which of the descriptors do you think are demonstrated in the story?
  • In your thinking, include reflection on the comments made by Karen (Inspector from the Care Inspectorate) and Nancy (Supervisor with Bluebird Care). In what way do they express appreciation about the service, staff, quality of leadership practice and overall sense of direction (vision)? For this you will find it helpful to look further at the Leadership Logic Model descriptors under the headings of:
  • How do people respond?
  • What difference does it make?
  • What are the outcomes?

Which descriptors do you think are evident from the narrative?

  • Now, reflecting on your own practice:
  • What is your own vision for the future?
  • What experiences have informed that vision?
  • How are you using vision in your leadership to see what is possible for individuals, families and communities now and in the future?
  • Look again at the Leadership Logic Model. In the same way as you used the descriptors to appreciate the Bluebird Care story, apply them to your own exercise of vision. What do you think are your strengths and areas for development.
  • Write a statement (minimum 200 words) on what you have learned about the importance of vision for your own practice and leadership and how you have (or plan to) put this into action. You might find it helpful to reflect on a situation where you have contributed to realising a vision. This might be:
    • Your own vision or a vision owned by your team, service or organisation
    • A vision that you have helped to build and communicate to others
    • Where you have worked with others to achieve the vision
    • Where there were enabling factors that assisted you to achieve the vision or barriers that hindered your progress

You can provide the statement on the open badge application form or provide a link to your own *blog/portfolio. You may find it helpful to look at Recording Your Learning and Reflecting on Leadership.

*If you want to use a blog or ePortfolio entry as evidence, you might find our guide to preparing and publishing your evidence useful

Click here to access helpful resources for Thing 5

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