If you are a business owner/leader and have a clear vision for your business, then does all your team share in your vision and buy into it as much as you do? I explain to clients that a vision is a like a desert island in the distance. Once we have decided that is the place we want to get to, we have to be sure that our team all want to get there too.
However, it’s worth remembering that business leaders are usually some ways ahead of the business and can typically be ALPHA-type characters, which means they lack patience and assume everyone understands, as they do. Not the best combination!
I sat through a presentation recently of an MD presenting the vision to the business and there was definitely a disconnect between the excitment of the MD and the audience’s reaction to the content being presented. The issue was the MD was ahead of the business in her thinking and wasnt ‘standing in the shoes’ of her audience. This was the feedback I gave her afterwards, when she was dissappointed that the team didnt seem to share in her excitement.
Sharing that vision with others in a way that compels them to act is the secret to a successful leadership vision yet to do this you have to have strong empathy with your team and acknowledge that not everyone cares as much as you or has the ability to think in a ‘bigger picture’ way. Which also means that you might need to cut down on the bigger picture and present in more manageable chunks – chunks that team members can relate to and therefore buy into.
To create that inspiring vision, ideally leaders need to create a process that involves everyone, that allows people to contribute to a shared view of the future, which is powerful and engaging for all. It’s simple – but it isn’t easy.
How do you fulfil your vision? Design a plan that focuses everyone’s efforts solely on its achievement. As a coach, this is an area I work with many business leaders on.
Now comes the tricky bit… Live, breathe and role-model the vision every day. Successful leaders never assume that their organisation is ‘on board’ with the vision – they go on and on and on about it. This is the primary job of leadership – not the day-to-day detail.
Concentrate on clearing obstacles to fulfilling the vision. Every person needs to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, and why it’s important to the overall vision of the organisation. Don’t do people’s jobs for them, or chase them to do their jobs; clear the way for them to do their own jobs effectively (see my last blog post on perfectionism and delegation).
So make sure you’re the type of leader that is not only excited about the vision but shares and excites everyone else, so they can deliver it and you can all arrive together on the desert island.