One of my favorite authors is Dr. Henry Cloud. He’s written several books on leadership and has his own leadership podcast.
In a recent podcast, he spoke about how your company’s vision is a key component for engaging the talent within your organization.
Cloud lays out six ways on how to craft your vision in a way that drives employee engagement and results.
Your Vision Must Be Transcendent
According to Cloud, your company vision must be transcendent, meaning it must be greater than any one person’s individual interests.
He used the example of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream speech”. MLK’s dream transcended his own interests and inspired an entire generation.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
In order to truly engage your employees, they need to know they are working for more than just a job. They need to know they are working with a group of people to realize a vision. A higher purpose.
Simon Sinek does a nice job of articulating this in his book “Start with Why”. You can view his Ted talk here. His point is that your “why” (core purpose) is what inspires people to follow you. He urges companies to articulate what they believe. What is the future picture that your business is building?
Question: It your vision transcendent?
At envisionable, this is what we believe…
Our mission is to help businesses reach their true potential
We picture a world where…
•Businesses have 100% clarity about the vision which energizes and motivates everyone on the team
•Each member of the team has 100% clarity about the company goals and how they can use their unique strengths to help the company achieve those goals
•Each employee has 100% clarity around how their performance is measured and rewarded
•KPIs (metrics) are fun and inspiring because they measure the right things, things that truly move the needle of the business
•Every employee is engaged which means they are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace
•The less fortunate among realizing their life’s vision
Your Vision Must Be Compelling
Cloud says that your vision has got to make your team “get out of bed”. It needs to be compelling.
As a leader, you are leading the organization from HERE (current state) to THERE (some future state). You must articulate why HERE is NOT OK. You are inviting your employees to join into a vision that changes and challenges the status quo. A future place where things will be different, better.
Question: It your vision compelling?
Your Vision Must Be Reachable & Believable
Your vision can be HUGE, but it much is reachable and believable. Cloud uses the example of self-driving cars. Although this dream is a stretch (and all great visions stretch our thinking) you can see a day when this will become a reality. Is your vision reachable? Does it stretch your team?
Question: It your vision reachable?
Your Vision Must Align With The Gifts of Your Team
This is the biggest area where you can drive team engagement in a real practical way. You can show your team members that they are NEEDED and contributing.
You must connect their day to day activities with the vision you’re trying to accomplish.
There is a scientific neurological part of this whole equation. According to Cloud,
“Our brain needs to see where it’s going to organize its resources in order to order behaviors that are going to accomplish the vision. If I don’t know where I’m headed, then my brain is not organizing its efforts in a proper way”.
I’ve written about this before, but you may be actually inhibiting the functioning of your employee’s brains.
A clear vision pulls us forward in a certain direction. It acts as a guardrail that keeps people in check. It tells us how close we are to achieving our vision.
Question: Does your team understand how their unique gifts are to be used in realizing the company’s vision?
Your Vision Must Be Clear
If you asked your team to write down your company’s vision, could they do it? If you were to compare their responses, how close would they be?
A clear vision helps your team to know what’s important. As Cloud says, “If everything is important, then nothing is”.
You need to be relentless about communicating (even over-communicating) your vision. We recommend a monthly meeting rhythm where you remind your team about your core values and core purpose. As the owner, you need to live it and breath it, pour every bit of yourself into your vision.
Question: It your vision clear?
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