Think Leadership–Tip #5–Proclame The Team’s Dream

One of the responsibilities of a leader is to set the team’s vision.

I’ll refer to two books: Leading at a Higher Level, and Soup.

In the book Leading at a Higher Level, the Ken Blanchard Company states “A compelling vision tells you who you are (your purpose), where you’re going (your preferred picture of the future), and what will drive your journey (your values).”

  1. Our Purpose
    1. This is the answer to “Why?”
    2. It’s the reason that gives meaning to our leadership and our team.
    3. The purpose is our dream.
  2. A Picture of the Future
    1. This is how we envision the world to be different when we succeed.
    2. It is here where we describe our dream in detail.
    3. If you listen to Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” (minute 11:26), he describes precisely what the picture looks like, and we all know what happened later.
  3. Our Values
    1. As I mentioned before in discover your leadership signature, these are our guiding principles.
    2. The values must guide daily activities and make decision making efficient.
    3. The values must be clearly define with behaviors.
    4. “On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.” – Thomas Jefferson

Jon Gordon gives vision a different feel.  He states that in order to be successful in sharing the vision we must ensure:

  1. Everyone can rally around it
    1. In order for everyone to buy-in we must let them be part of the creation of the vision.  We should allow people to have a say in what gets finalized, let them share their ideas and opinion.
  2. Captures the Essence and Spirit of the Business
    1. The vision must summarize the purpose of the business.  It doesn’t need to be elaborate, it just needs to clearly captures what it means to be part of the team or company.
  3. Easy to remember
    1. Forget the spelling bee quality wording.  Forget the long paragraphs or sentences.
    2. Most people barely have enough time to remember their social security number.
    3. A vision must be short and sweet, something that takes a few seconds to say.
  4. Clear, Simple, Energizing, and Compelling.
    1. This is an extension of #3.  The vision is about compacting a larger than life dream in about 6 words.
    2. An example of a vision “That people everywhere will share the power of a wish” – Make a Wish Foundation
      1. This is a statement to change the world. It shows purpose, it’s short, it’s larger than life, it’s easy to remember, and it reflect directly what the foundation stands for.

These are two different ways of thinking about vision.  What’s your vision? What’s your dream?

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