Making Vision Appealing

This post picks up in an ongoing series about leading change. You can take The Change Inventory for free here.

Vision sticks when a leader believes in something that appeals to their followers. Here’s how to create vision that appeals to followers: listen to them, remove obstacles, and make the vision about someone else.

  1. The object of the vision is: others.

The easiest way to sabotage a vision is to make it about you. Years ago I sat with a team whose team leader said these exact words: “Your job is to make me look good.” If your vision is only about you (or your shareholders), the folks following will be giving less blood, sweat, and tears to make that dream come true.

They do, however, want to be part of something meaningful. An others-focused vision can be about almost anybody other than you. It can be about meaningful jobs, building community value, solving problems for customers, or creating a renewable futures.

2. When they try to make the vision possible, you’ve made it as easy as possible.

It’s your job to eliminate barriers to people contributing to the vision. There are some midlevel managers that are barriers. It’s your job to remove them. There is red tape in the way. It’s your job to step in. There might be old couches to discard, or pet projects you wanted done. Create systems that support people saying YES.

3. When you talk, they should feel heard.

Leaders are a-l-w-a-y-s listening. When you have opportunities to talk about vision, make it clear that you heard them. Tie your vision to values as often as you can. Tell stories that celebrate what your team is doing. Use their words and their impact to reinforce where you’re going together.

While there are detractors, most people want to be part of something significant. They want to be LED. Lead them! Talk about a vision that you believe in that’s appealing to the people who will get you there.

Take The Change Inventory today!

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