Knowing Where We’re Going (and Why)

On my way to work this morning I got caught behind a big truck. I really dislike driving behind something so big because I can’t see around it.

It makes me a nervous driver because I have no idea what’s going on in front of that truck. I’m overly cautious. My foot taps the break more often.  I prefer to look beyond the car in front of me so I can see the conditions up ahead.

Sound familiar?

My stuck-behind-a-truck experience is a familiar feeling for many people who go to work every day not knowing where their company is going. These same feelings of stress likely surround you if you can’t see the conditions up ahead. Your reaction time is slowed. You’re breaking more often than normal. You’re frustrated and nervous.

Having a vision

This is why having a vision for your company is so vital. It plays a big role in motivating your team and keeping everyone moving toward the same destination.  Knowing the vision energizes people and allows everyone to make better decisions because they know where they’re going.

If you’re not the person who determines the vision, you can still inspire your team by communicating and reinforcing how their efforts make the vision become a reality.

Communicating the vision

The first rule of thumb in communicating the vision is that you cannot over communicate it – and this goes far beyond engraving the vision on a plaque that gathers dust in your lobby!

Communicate your vision verbally whenever you can. How? By illustrating how it’s becoming reality. Make it real. So many vision statements are just that – statements. Living the vision is a lot like playing Charades: you’ve got to act it out!

It’s your job as a leader to point out the vision in action. Shout it from the mountaintop in a company meeting, a global e-mail, or even the department Christmas party. Make sure each teammate knows how their role supports the vision, and point out when they’re living it.

What about you? Does your company have a vision? How do you communicate it? How do you reinforce it?

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