Vision is our alarm clock in the morning and caffeine in the evening. Vision is the criterion against which all behaviour is measured and nothing touches the heart like it!
The authors of “The Flight of the Buffalo” (Warner Books, 1993) wrote, “Vision is the beginning point for leading the journey. Vision focuses. Vision inspires.” I find this to be so true.
Steven Covey has written, “All things are created twice, first, there is the mental creation and then the physical creation.” If we have seen it before we can shape it into reality. Vision is, therefore, the bridge between the present and future reality.
But, for any vision t materialise, you got to make it ‘sticky.’ That is the responsibility of a leader.
5 Steps For Ensuring that Vision is Caught:
#1. Keep The Vision Simply
A good vision must be short, concise and memorable.
Too many organisations make the mistake of trying to include everything in their vision statement. As a result, it ends up being too long, to be easily stated or remembered. A simple, concise vision can be very compelling, even if it needs some further explanation, and is much more likely to be effective than a longer, more complex one.
#2. Cast The Vision Convincingly
Nothing is more pathetic than a passionless visionary.
Your ability to consistently cast the vision often comes down to the ability to concisely and clearly articulate the vision. Once the vision has been distilled down to a brief, concise, and memorable form, it must be communicated in a compelling way.
Below is a 3 step process to assist you:
- Define the problem in a way that creates dissatisfaction with the present situation in the people you work with.
- Offer a solution to the problem that invites their response and involvement.
- Presenting a compelling reason why action needs to be taken, and taken immediately.
“If you haven’t defined the problem, determined a solution, and discovered a compelling reason why now is the time to act, you aren’t ready to go public with your vision.
#3. Consistently Communicate the Vision
If we want the vision to stick, we have to repeat it multiple times, in multiple ways, in many different venues and forums, and in many different forms.
Mentioning your vision once isn’t going to cut it. We need to find ways of subtly (and not so subtly!) reinforcing the vision in not only large groups but in small groups, at leaders meetings, in our one-to-one appointments. To make vision stick, it must be repeated often, and regularly. Unless the vision is branded upon your heart, this will it be possible.
#4. Celebrate Those Who Model the Vision
One of the best ways to reinforce the vision is to celebrate real life example of your vision being lived out in the real world “What is celebrated is repeated.
The behaviours that are celebrated are repeated. The decisions that are celebrated are repeated. The values that are celebrated are repeated. If you intentionally or unintentionally celebrate something that is in conflict with your vision, the vision won’t stick.
Too often, organisations highlight and celebrate things that conflict with the vision, or simply have nothing to do with advancing the vision. Find ways of recognising individuals who are living out the vision. Find ways to celebrate even minor steps of progress towards the vision.
#5. Embrace and Model the Vision Personally
Followers don’t buy into the vision, they buy into the leader/s.
“If the leaders won’t do it, who will?” The idea was that we couldn’t ask people to do things that we weren’t first committed to doing ourselves. Your willingness to embody the vision of your organisation will have a direct impact on the organisation.
“It is the responsibility of the leader to ensure that people understand and embrace the vision.”
– Andy Stanley
If you are not living out the vision yourself, you are going to have a hard time making it stick after all people do what people see.
How do you know when people have caught the vision?
The simplest test is this: Those who catch the vision are able to cast the vision.
Have you moved from a “customer” to “salesman of the vision?”