Introduction 3 This is the message you will find in the pages of The Visionary Director, along with numerous strategies to move your program in that direction. While we have been discouraged to hear many direc- tors describe their vision for their programs in narrow terms, such as improving their playground or getting accredited, we have also been heartened to meet others who have bigger dreams for the role their programs can play in reshaping the communities where they reside. some have made significant changes in transforming the organiza- tional culture, physical environment, activities, and interactions that shape quality in an early childhood program. Others have taken steps toward creating a community of dreamers who are on the road to making changes. Imagination and Activism Are Key If you see yourself as the developer of an organizational culture, your leadership will extend beyond managing an early childhood program. As you create a culture of safety and respect, alive with a sense of pos- sibilities, your program will attract staff and families longing to be involved in this kind of community. And if your policies and actions go beyond lip service to diversity, you create the potential for using that diversity to transform the fear, alienation, and despair that are so pervasive in our wider community. Cultivating imagination is as critical to a director’s success as acquiring skills. so much in our world conspires to take away our dreams. With all the tasks you as a director need to accomplish, it’s easy to get consumed by the daily details, neglecting your heart and mind. New energy comes when you step outside your “to-do” lists, make time for activities that call forth your creativity, and do things that intellectually stimulate and nurture you. It’s equally important to