I have a dream.
Simple words. Famous words. Powerful words.
The 'I have a dream' speech was delivered by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jnr in 1963 and remains one of the best-known speeches in history. Why? Because it shares a powerful vision for the future that people could connect with and buy into.
Furthermore, he remained true to his vision and connected back to it in all speeches he subsequently delivered, the actions he chose, and the decisions he made. His consistent and inspiring vision harnessed energy and focus and brought about substantial positive change as a result.
As we launch into formal election mode, one of the things that will separate the true leaders from the politicians is the presence of a compelling vision that they consistently come back to - where do they want Australia to be in the future... and why is that a good thing?
Not just the next election cycle, but decades down the track. It's clear that we enter this election campaign with two distinct policy platforms.
Even more exciting and inspiring would be to know where the leaders see in 20 years' time. The typical Australian will somewhat reluctantly follow a politician.
They will enthusiastically follow and connect with a true leader.
Last week's budget and reply was a great opportunity for the two major party leaders to share their vision.
The budget would then have become the first step in realising that vision. I attended a post-budget presentation with the Prime Minister in Launceston this week.
From a leadership perspective, Mr Morrison was impressive in his ability to personalise, connect and share stories that resonated with the local audience.
And in listening to the various policies he presented, there's a sense of an underlying cohesion to them. But the vision was not made explicit.
The focus was kept very much on the here and now - things that would happen in the coming few years.
In presenting his alternative budget, Labor Leader Bill Shorten shared his vision. I'm paraphrasing, but it was along the lines of 'an Australia that was better for our kids than we found it'.
A vision like this can tell us so much. We get a sense of what sort of policies we might expect to see in terms of the economy, the environment, social support, and every other aspect of federal government responsibility. It's aspirational. It's inter-generational. And it's looking beyond the next election cycle or two.
But Mr Shorten has since failed to continue to promote that vision. It has been easily lost in the rest of the noise of the past week. The opportunity was, and perhaps still is, to paint the Australian community a sense of that vision and what it looks like. In doing so, voters end up with an even clearer choice.
It's one thing to have a clear vision. It's another to be behaving in a manner which would convince voters that the leader is serious about making that vision a reality.
To the extent that Mr Shorten's vision is known, a review of the budget would suggest that there isn't a strong sense of clarity around how aspects of his budget align to realising his vision.
Most of the policy measures are about the next few years - they don't explicitly consider the impact on the next generation, and they don't go far enough in terms of reflecting the potential needs of the next generation. If they do, he's certainly not talking about it.
There remains a huge opportunity for both parties to bring their vision to life with ever-increasing layers of clarity. Northern Tasmanian candidates can be active in that space too, helping us translate the vision of their parties into how it will benefit or impact us.
When it comes to engaging the community, at this stage neither leader has nailed it. Not even close. But the first round has gone to Mr Shorten by the barest of margins.
- Tony Chapman is a Launceston-based director of SRA Corporate Change. SRA Corporate Change focuses on unlocking the potential of organisations and their leaders to cultivate high performance through strategy, leadership and culture.