The only way to attract and retain talent is to be talented yourself. Talented people want to learn from other talented people. The only way to become talented is to be some sort of a visionary. They don't want to work for someone who knows nothing and uses authority to order them around. They want to work with people who KNOW more than them. That requires having some sort of a vision. So they can learn and be better at their craft and one day also have a vision of the future for themselves.
They want the instruction to come with the WHY. They want to know the purpose. The only way to give people real purpose is to have a vision.
What separates a vision from a dream. A vision is like having a picture in your head that you know CAN be real. It may not be real in the present physical world yet, but you can look ahead and see a better version of the present. You CAN work your way to achieving a vision. It IS a possibility. A dream MAY or MAY not be possible. That's the danger of only having dreams. You end up squandering resources on things that may be impossible to materialize.
A vision is a dream adjusted for reality. That means you have taken the time to deeply understand the constraints you are working with, while at the same time not settling for the status quo. You are continuously striving to be better, because you believe that things CAN be better. You see a new way of possibilities and choose the correct path because you understand what you have and what's possible. Without the "adjusted for reality" part a vision is just an empty dream with an expensive consequence.
Vision in the mind of a leader translates to purpose driven growth for the talented people working with the leader. That's how you inspire people. They work beside you not under you. They work together to achieve the vision. On this journey, the people grow with the leader. Eventually the vision and the people are one.
The difference between a dreamer and a visionary is a dreamer will change their target on a daily basis. Dreamers don't focus, because they don't believe in anything, because there is nothing to believe in. They constantly look outside to see other people's success and their dream changes. A visionary on the other hand believes in the vision with conviction and pursues the vision with every fiber of his / her existence. At the same time a visionary continuously adjusts their strategy based on the changing reality to ensure the success of reaching that vision. That's what it means to believe in something.
Visionaries will filter everything that doesn't help them achieve the vision because they know what's in their vision and what is not. They'll focus and not waste time on things that do not bring them closer to their vision. A dreamer will listen to just about anyone because they do not believe. They look externally because their dreams fade on a constant basis. Dreams fade because the "reality check" was not done. So after one challenge it's all over. It fades out. The dreamer moves on to the next dream, and the cycle repeats.
Visions do not fade. They stay alive, because it's backed by growth and results. Solid tangible results. It's what keeps the vision alive. It's what keeps the people going and feeds itself on an upwards spiral. The further along the journey the team goes the more people join. As the participants grow the better the possibility of getting closer to the vision. The closer they get to the vision, the better the vision gets. This is what I believe is the infinite cycle of meaningful growth.