Having vision is crucial for a leader who has intentions of growing and sustaining a business into the future. Vision is also a motivational element when it comes to attracting the best talent.
However, as leaders, if we do not have a process for fulfilling our vision, then it is nothing more than a talked up fantasy. Dreams and vision are easier announced than lived. There is nothing more frustrating than working in an organization without any process for vision fulfillment.
Here are five steps for moving vision to reality.
1. Define your vision.
What burdens you emotionally? An inspirational vision usually grows from the inside out. It is something that you feel should be accomplished. A vision fulfills a need. A vision is something that hasn’t been done before. It is big picture and very large, rather than a goal to hit this year. The vision at this stage is inspiring to you, but not yet to the team.
2. Define what needs to happen.
Diagnose what the issue is and how it looks when it is resolved. Paint a picture in your mind of the fixed issue. Be clear. What inspires the team at this stage is having hope.
3. Define major objectives.
Reflect on what major objectives need to be addressed to meet that need. Vision fulfillment takes thinking. Otherwise it is just a fantasy. At this stage you are not yet worried about pulling it off through detailed action. Stay out of the weeds! Thoughts about execution will stagnate creative thinking. Think of 3 to 5 major big picture initiatives. What inspires the team at this stage is the progression of your thinking. You have taken your thoughts from a fantasy, to a dream, and now to a vision that has clarity.
4. Choose your team.
Who has the talent you need to move forward? Who believes in the vision? You are looking for people who can execute the vision. Do not gather up other dreamers. It might be fun to dream together, but nothing will ever come of it. What good is a vision if you cannot make it a reality? What inspires the team at this stage is the excitement of being included and involved in doing something great!
5. Move as a team.
Do not take this on alone. Do not seek control. Share the glory. Make the vision something the team now owns, rather than yourself. Eliminate words like my vision and replace them with our vision. When a vision is in the my stage it demotivates the team and using my or I never gets anything off the ground. Our goal in this stage is to add action and movement to the vision. What inspires the team at this stage is the action and movement toward the vision, not the vision itself. The talk will become old unless it is connected to executed items.
Having vision is crucial for leaders, but it cannot stand alone. It will turn to a demotivating element if it is not connected to a process that allows it to be fulfilled.