If You Want Them to Follow, You Need to Have Vision
Leaders have vision. Whether you run a company, manage a team, or are a solopreneur, if you want to stand out in your space you need to have a vision for the future of your business.
Great leaders know how to paint a picture of what the future can look like for their companies and teams. Employees want to understand the company’s purpose, as well as their own purpose within the company. Knowing the company’s vision helps them to buy in—to believe in and commit to what the company is trying to do.
And what of personal vision? It’s the thing inside that guides us and creates within us a desire to better ourselves. It shows us where we are headed and embodies our hopes and ideals. If we lead a team, it helps us to tie things back into the company vision. If we run our own company, it ensures we are on the right path to achieving desired results.
Having a vision provides the direction to focus on and move toward. Like an Inukshuk, our vision points to the path, providing meaning and purpose along the way.
A clear vision will motivate us and drive us forward, overcoming obstacles in our path.
Knowing the vision helps us, as leaders, to develop strategy and to realize when we’ve accomplished what we set out to do. By clearly understanding the direction of the company, we, as managers, can create a compelling vision for our teams which enables them to focus on what’s important to achieve desired results.
Although it may look easy to followers, crafting a compelling vision for the future takes some work. Here are some ways to get you started:
Do some reflection. If you know where you’ve come from, it’s easier to determine where you should now be headed. While reflecting, put together a list of things you’re proud of. In doing so, you’ve started out the vision process on a positive note, and you also know what you already do well. What a great base to build on!
Think about what you’d like to realize, and be clear about what you need to work on. From your vision comes goals. It’s tough to write meaningful goals without being able to tie them back to a clear vision.
Visioning works best if you create time frames around your thoughts. Don’t set the time frame too long, or you risk not having a sense of actually getting there. Consider what your long-term (5 to 10 years) vision is, and then work backward to determine your vision for the next 2 years and then for 2020.
Write a draft, and plan to rewrite that draft a few times before coming up with something that resonates. If you need some inspiration, invite input from people you respect and trust, as some of their ideas might work well for you.
Share your vision with those you work with. If they are going to follow you, its understandable they need to know where you’re going.
If you, as a leader, display that you have a strong vision, people will be inspired to follow. Whether employees, clients, colleagues, or industry connections, if they are inspired by your vision they will be compelled to act in a way that drives everyone forward—including you!
Your vision will stand as the reason for your business decisions—what markets you serve, which employees you hire, how you inspire your team members, and what products you develop. It makes sense for you to take time to craft a compelling vision for yourself and your team. If you’d like some help with that, or someone to bounce ideas off of, feel free to reach out to me. I’ve facilitated this type of brainstorming before, have crafted my own vision statements, and I’m happy to help!
Laura Sukorokoff is the Founder of C-Change Learning and Development and the author of It’s Not Them, It’s You: Why employees “break up” with their managers and what to do about it (due to be released Q1 2020). She makes it her mission to guide managers in their efforts to create people-centered workplaces. Reach out to Laura for help with developing your managerial skill set, and for soft-skills training for your team. Learn more at www.cchangelearning.com.