Many people mistakenly believe that a Company’s vision should be the responsibility of the CEO.
That is erroneous thinking and not only limits the growth of any leader, but also makes his career less exciting.
All leaders in any organization, community or team is able to effectively manifest his vision (‘see’) as long as he creates specific and achievable goals (‘do’) while initiating positive actions and enlisting the participation of all relevant team members.
Of course, to reap maximum synergy and motivation from your team, a Leader’s Vision should be congruent with that of the Company’s.
However, there are a few questions that beg to be answered.
As a Leader, how important is it to set a Vision? How should Leaders rally their team behind that Vision? What is the role of the Leader in motivation and bringing out that Vision?
A visionary paints beautiful scenes of the future and articulate them with great enthusiasm.
A visionary leader, on the other hand, brings that vision into reality and, thereby, impacting the space we dwell in.
As a Leader, even though he was requested to leave the company that he helped set build, Steve Jobs never threw away his Vision of what Apple could be. Instead he dug deep, persevered and returned back to Apple, impacting the company even more in the process.
As Leaders, how ready and enthusiastic are we to share a piece of our dream with the team?
More importantly, how determined are we to see our Vision bear fruits?
Successful Leaders should also be able to get positive ‘buy-in’ from our team. Therefore, we should concentrate on the various stages of the buy-in process and manage it accordingly.
Before any task is initiated, it would be very helpful for Leaders to show “complete disclosure” to their team as to what is to be done.
And what this means is that Leaders should dedicate effort to spend time with their team and explaining to them the merits of these particular project or the team’s role in the organization.
At this point any confusion can be dealt with and any disagreement with task orientation can also be smoothened out.
It is good for Leaders to help the team ‘see the big picture’ and understand how their involvement will help the team reach goals and also result in the growth of each respective team members.
After all, Leaders are dream makers who know that dreams are made from future probabilities and never from past liabilities. The more we nourish our team with possible visions of what the team can achieve, the more dynamic and motivated they will be.
Step-in and Step-up!
One of the key elements in bringing your team into the Vision is trust.
Trust is the primary ingredient in all relationships. Because it is often something that is earned, our team may not initially trust us until we are able to demonstrate some sort of trust building behavior.
For this reason, team building activities are of value.
The relationships between Leaders and the rest of the team is critical as to how engaged everyone will be.
A Gallup research (2009) shows that a team needs constant feedback as to how they are performing and not just yearly.
Effective Leaders also need to give and receive feedback and to mentor their team in a way that increases engagement and commitment.
For teams to be highly motivated there ought to be effective communication. It is essential for information to be received and transmitted in its exact same form or spirit within our team.
It is useful to remind ourselves that success of the team only occurs when everybody ‘wins’.
Hence, some handy reminders include:
1) Always take into account your boss’s point of view
2) Focusing on the solution rather than the problem
3) Being aware of your body language
4) Observing how your boss prefers to communicate with you
Many of us avoid the responsibility of visionary leadership primarily because we are too sensitive to criticism and failure. But all these may fade away when we realize the impact it can have to our organization.
As Robert Frost once wrote:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. “ – Robert Frost
(This article has been published in 11/09/12 CATS Recruits)