If you can’t paint a picture of your vision, why would anyone choose to believe in it?
Leading a team can sometimes be like rounding up sheep, especially if there’s a change happening. There are always a few stragglers who don’t know where to go. I doubt if Steve Jobs had too many stragglers when he announced a change. He had a way of communicating his vision so we could all see it. It even showed in Apple’s marketing campaigns. We were all touched by his vision.
When people can see the vision for themselves, they will be inspired to work for it. They share a common goal and because they understand why the vision is so important, they are better able to overcome challenges and take responsibility for their results. In other words, they are committed to achieving that vision.
What can you learn from other inspirational leaders about how to share your vision, so others are inspired to follow you?
Paint the picture.
The problem with a typical vision statement is that it’s a set of words and usually doesn’t paint a vivid image for people to understand. The team at Disney Institute, where they share Walt Disney’s leadership techniques, say, “…the more a vision can be expressed in a vivid, imaginative way, the more it will motivate people to action in the present.”
Carmine Gallo, the author of books on Steve Jobs, tells how Steve Jobs inspired a man to join the company by telling the story of how his vision would change the world. The man said, “He painted a picture of how it would change everything about the way we worked, educated our children and entertained ourselves. You couldn’t help but buy-in.”
Don’t be afraid to tell stories and describe your vision in imaginative, evocative ways. Forget the stats and go for the vivid images.
Involve people in your vision.
I read a great tip recently which reminded me that the vision needs to have meaning to us personally before we feel committed to it. The tip is to ask people what the vision means to them. This helps them think more deeply about it and their role in the process. It helps them realise that the work they are doing is important and they are contributing to something worthwhile. It also helps them think about the way they are working, changes which might have to be made and any personal or professional development they might need soon. In other words, this question gets them to put themselves right inside the picture.
Remind your team every day.
It’s up to you to keep your vision alive – keep that flame burning inside every member of your team. It’s too easy to be sucked back into the daily routine and lose sight of the big picture. That’s how dreams die.
Talk about your vision every day. You don’t have to bore people silly about it, but it should underpin all your decisions and systems.
- When you have team meetings, show how the decisions impact your progress towards the vision or how the vision dictates the choices you need to make.
- Ask individuals how things have changed for them since they began working towards the vision. What do they need? Are things working well? What suggestions do they have?
- Tell stories about your vision and the impact it is having.
- Celebrate your successes and clearly, show the team’s progress towards the vision.
By painting a glorious picture of your vision, people will be attracted to it and inspired to follow you. As you live your vision each day and remind people of it, those stray sheep who didn’t follow you, in the beginning, will eventually be caught up, too.
Communicating your vision is a key part of your role as a leader. I’d love to help you refine and share it with your team. Give me a call on 0405 322 005 and let’s chat about the best way to do that.