All successful teams have something in common – they are able to see the picture of what they are trying to accomplish. A team that is unable to see the vision is like the person who was given all the pieces to a puzzle without the picture of what it’s going to look like. And it leads to nothing but frustration and failure.
People don’t stay on course for something they cannot see, and they don’t give their best to something they cannot understand. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to see the vision and communicate it effectively so that your people can help you seize it. But sometimes, it’s hard to know where to begin. Below, I share three ways to find the clarity you need to define and communicate your dream and achieve your personal growth and leadership development goals.
Without vision, a leader cannot lead. It’s just that simple.
TAKE THE TIME TO DEFINE THE VISION CLEARLY.
Leaders go first—and that starts with setting aside plenty of time to craft a vision that fulfills the dream you have. Don’t expect a vision to fall from the sky. Vision is found within, reaches past what only one person can accomplish, and meets the needs of others. Make sure you’re taking the time to define a vision that meets these criteria. Then fight for the time to write it down, map it out, and tweak it until it’s clear. Otherwise, you’ll be communicating a vision that others won’t be inspired to carry forward.
RESIST THE URGE TO REDUCE YOUR VISION.
Many of the leaders I work with around the world are natural visionaries. For them, having a vision is generally not the problem. The challenge comes in communicating that vision in a way that inspires and motivates people to accomplish it. If you find that your people are having trouble understanding and accomplishing the vision, resist the urge to shrink it down. If you did the right work in step one to define your vision, then trust it and invest the time it takes to learn how to communicate it more effectively. Simon Sinek once said, “Great leaders must have two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate that vision clearly.” Which brings us to the final step.
COMMUNICATE YOUR VISION IN A WAY THAT UNIFIES AND MOBILIZES.
Two keys to communicating vision are clarity and connection. A lack of clarity will hinder initiative, weaken persistence, and undermine follow-through. A lack of connection will leave people uninspired and unsure of why they should care. There are many great personal growth and leadership development resources available from Maxwell Leadership and others to help develop effective communication skills, depending on your style and current strengths. But at the end of the day, to unify and mobilize people to carry your vision forward, you need to be clear about what you want them to accomplish and connect them to the vision in a way that illustrates why this vision matters – to them, to the people you serve, and to the world.
Helping your people catch your vision can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. My friend, I want to encourage you: your dreams are important! They were given to you for a reason. Now go be a dream maker! Start by taking the time you need to define them clearly, trust that they are worth pursuing, and communicate them in a way that inspires both unity and action.
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