Leading With Vision

The greatest leaders have a diverse set of skills. They can manage people and projects, strategize, delegate, and inspire. Fundamental to all of this – to being a leader that people want to perform their best for – is having a vision and being able to communicate it effectively.

What Is Your Vision?

It’s a simple question: What is your vision? If you can’t answer that, we have some work to do! We can’t communicate our vision to others if we don’t know what it is. The reason that a vision is critical, in brief, is that it unifies the purpose of the work and ensures that everyone knows what role they play in achieving it.

If a vision isn’t in your vocabulary yet, take a little time to create one. At its core, a vision should make it clear what the overall objective is, connect the work of individual team members to the bigger picture, and help them feel good about their contribution.

Communicating Your Vision

You have a vision. You have a vision statement. But none of that matters if you aren’t able to get that message across to internal and external stakeholders in a way that resonates. It’s your job as a leader to make it simple, memorable, and consistent. 

If you’re not a natural communicator or if communication is one of your in-development skills, it’s helpful to develop some strategy around messaging. Just like a product launch or a business proposal, there are several steps you can take to set yourself up for success as you move forward in your journey as the captain of the ship.

Below are 6 strategies I recommend as part of your Vision Distribution Plan. These tips will strengthen your credibility among colleagues. They will also help you in motivating the people you rely on to deliver results in service of the vision.  

A Vision Distribution Plan in 6 Steps

1️⃣ Tell a Story: A story should bring a vision to life. It should capture the ‘why’ of the vision in a way that other humans can connect to. We tend to connect more with stories than we do with data, so make it personal, but keep it simple – no more than a couple of minutes.

2️⃣ Offer Authenticity: Honesty is important because it builds trust, and trust builds harmony. In order to perform their best, your team needs to trust you. Whatever story you tell, whatever message you use to communicate your vision, don’t try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. Be open and transparent about the why’s of the work. 

3️⃣ Change the Channel: To ensure your vision is reaching every audience, you’ll want to employ various modes of communication and you need to be able to translate it into various mediums. A large-scale presentation will look different than a 1:1 meeting with your right hand. What will the vision look like on social media? And for people who are more visual than verbal, consider imagery or creating an infographic.

“Communicate, communicate, and then communicate some more.” – Bob Nelson

4️⃣ Consistency Is Key: Make sure your vision statement and story say what you really want to say before you launch them. It takes time and repetition for messaging to be absorbed by the people around you and filter through the layers of a company. The more consistent and repetitive it is, the more foundational it becomes. If it gets lost in the shuffle or changes each week, the efficacy will be lost.

5️⃣ Assess and Adjust: You have a vision. It makes complete sense to you and should be clear to everyone else. But is it? The only way to know for sure is to ask for feedback. Ask your team if they understand the vision and if they can relay to others. Take an anonymous survey and adapt the messaging if needed to make sure it reflects your true goals.

6️⃣ Act Accordingly: A vision, like your values, must be at the core of the decisions you make and the actions you take. Make it a key language piece in every presentation, every announcement, every task you assign. All of the work should serve the mission. This provides clarity, focus, and helps prioritize the workload for your team. 

If you’re struggling with developing a vision or communicating it effectively, don’t let that hold you back from becoming the leader you were meant to be. As a coach, my job is to help you develop the skills to lead with confidence. We can work through these challenges – together!

Lisa L. Baker - Certified Personal, Career, Success and Life Coach

Lisa L. Baker is a professional life coach, career strategist, and keynote speaker. Lisa is the founder of Ascentim – a Maryland-based coaching practice that utilizes a unique G.R.O.W. process to help clients gain clarity, realize new possibilities, overcome obstacles, and win at life. Lisa shows high-performing professionals how to Level Up and Live the Life of Their Dreams.

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