Vision casting is often viewed as the job of the CEO. Like a head coach, the CEO sets the direction of an organization and then spends a great amount of energy ensuring that their team also understands and works for the vision. Vision casting, however, isn't limited to CEOs. Great leadership, regardless of a title or position, involves effective vision casting.
You Are Your Primary Advocate
I once heard an author talking about all of the ideas he gets pitched by non-authors who want him to write a book on their idea, and then share the credits (and profit) of the book. The author kindly explained that ideas are never the issue; there is an abundance of ideas. The issue in writing a book is having the passion and disciple to do it. Therefore, as the author explained, he only writes books he is passionate about and has a vision for, as it wouldn't be a positive experience for him to try to write another's passion.
If you are responsible for a project, initiative, or idea, the reality is that you are probably the only one that really cares about it. Strong leaders understand that they must consistently share their vision with those around them. Leaders must explain what they are looking to achieve. Vision casting provides something for others to follow, something for others to advocate for.
Lead From Where You Are At
While vision casting is often associated with the highest levels of an organization (think CEO), defining and sharing a vision can be beneficial for any leader. If you believe in something and desire to accomplish a goal, it likely isn't going to happen unless you set a direction to make it happen. The reality of our culture is that you may be the only one interested in seeing something happen, even if others think it is a good idea.
Therefore, you need to be the leader in accomplishing your task. Without a clear vision in accomplishing a goal, it won't get accomplished. A clear vision helps others get on board with the goal. It gives them a reason.
Casting A Vision
Vision casting is quite simple at the core - sharing your goal or mission and sharing it often. If you want a raise greater than the standard 2%, you need to share your desires with your boss or you will always be wishing that he was a mind reader.
People Want To Follow
It is human nature to want to follow someone's lead. Leading takes a lot of work and most of us are only able to lead, or be solely responsible, for a few things at a time. Leadership is more about doing than it is about excellence.