Leaders have many enormous responsibilities but two that rise to the top of the list are the ability to clarify the vision for their company and then mobilize support and action from all involved, from stockholders to employees. This is no small feat but if well done, can create a momentum that goes well beyond what any executive team can directly do.
There are two compelling principles to remember when embarking upon creating a vision. The first is that engagement equals commitment, especially important for those that will be relied upon to take action towards that vision. That’s a tried and true formula – engagement in any process creates commitment to the outcome, which supports actions to achieve the outcome and creates self-accountability for results. Engagement can range from active involvement in the actual creation of the vision to communicating it in a way that creates a deep connection, both of which require a thoughtful strategy and process as well as the burden of actually listening and integrating perspectives. However, the payoff can be significant because you engage both the heads and hearts of those involved.
The second principle to understand is to create a vision that makes the future real to people because only then will they take it seriously and work towards it. We humans are wired to care about how something feels to us today. That’s why we have a hard time sticking to diets or make dumb financial decisions because we don’t feel the consequences or the benefits today. Through your words and actions, make the future real and tangible and your team will be inspired to truly achieve it.