Is your team not performing up to your expectations? The good news is that you have more control than you think. It could be due to a lack of clear direction and focus.
Leadership begins with painting a current picture of the future in the form of a vision. As the owner and leader of your company, you can determine what your business will look like years down the road. Steven Covey, in his book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” says to “Begin with the end in mind”. Think about the impact that your team could have on your company if they have an understanding of your long-term vision, are guided by its presence, and are energized by drawing from your passion!
By now you might be asking: how do I communicate my vision so that my team embraces it, is energized by it, and becomes more effective? Three steps:
* Write a vision statement about that which you are passionate
* Creatively and frequently communicate that vision to your team
* To obtain the practical benefit, continuously use that vision statement as a decision-making filter and require it of your team.
What is a vision statement?
A vision statement is the longest term goal for your business that you can imagine. However, to be effective you must believe in your vision and be passionately committed to its fulfillment.
Your vision doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to your lifetime. For example, the vision for ActionCOACH is: “World abundance through business re-education”. Your vision is the overall strategic intent for your business, reduced into one or two passion instilling sentences so that it is easily recalled and remains front-of-mind with your team.
How do I communicate my vision to my team?
A vision statement should be living. By living I mean that it should be communicated everywhere, in as many creative formats as possible: audibly and visually. Imagine every member of your team stating your vision accurately and immediately upon being asked!
When hiring, one of the selection criteria should be how willing the candidate is to identify with your vision. As the owner of the vision, be constantly looking for innovative ways and opportunities to communicate it. As you do, your team members will catch the dream and follow suit.
Of what practical benefit is a vision statement?
Crafted and used properly, a vision statement can become the North Star to your overall business strategy and decision-making process. Your business plan should spring from your vision. Your yearly plans and your 90-day (quarterly) plans should align with your vision. Every decision that is made in your business should be congruent with your vision. Your team should be in the habit of cross-checking their plans and decisions with your vision. Just as the sailors of old aligned their direction with the North Star, so should all of your planning align with your vision?
So many success stories have evolved from one person’s passionate commitment to a vision and enlisting others to carry it out! In the absence of a vision, many businesses are challenged to identify their highest priorities. A lack of vision and focused priorities is one of the reasons why businesses fail. Low team morale, absenteeism, and resignations may be signs that the leader must clarify the vision and set priorities aligned with that vision.