Making Your Vision Stick
How do you make your vision stick? We talk about vision, mission, and values all the time in this blog. Why is it that nobody else really believes in this vision and this mission the way you do? Why is it not as close to their hearts as it is to yours?
That’s not the fault of the followers. That’s the fault of the leaders. If our team doesn’t have that mission and vision deeply embedded in their hearts the way we do, that’s our fault as leaders, not their fault as followers.
Time is hard on your vision. Growth adds complexity, and complexity adds distractions, and we kind of get away from our vision of what our company should look like. Your vision is what your company could and should be. Life is right this minute, life is the urgent stuff, the stuff that’s just hounding you and vying for your attention. The vision is the big picture. It’s what your company should be like, rather than how it is at this very moment in time.
Six rules for how to make your vision stick
Make it really simple and make it memorable. It’s much easier to share and remember if it’s simple and to the point!
Cast it convincingly. Every vision is a solution to a problem. Your vision statement should have something of a problem-solving element to it.
Repeat it regularly. We don’t do this often enough as leaders. We worry about being redundant and saying the same thing over and over, but you have to do that, especially as your company grows and you have more complexity and more people and more new faces and more new systems and all that kind of stuff. The vision is simple, and so you should be able to recite it regularly and talk about it regularly as a group. Otherwise, it’ll get buried in all those distractions and all the immediate stuff.
Celebrate your vision. What happened in the last week that made you feel we made progress in our mission? Asking rank and file people, people that maybe are closer or farther away from customers than you are, what happened in the last week to make you feel like we furthered our mission to do something?
Talk about it verbally, all the time. Send people notes, use it in your email communications, etc. Communicate it in different ways.
Embrace the vision personally. This is probably the most important component. You have to live your vision as the leader. People respond much more energetically to the things they see you doing, rather than the things they hear you saying. If you’re not going to live your vision, you may as well forget about it, because it’s not going to be genuine or authentic.
You’re responsible as the leader for making your vision stick. It’s not the responsibility of your followers to push it up the chain, it’s you pushing it down the chain as the leader. If your vision means anything to you, put in the time and the effort in your organization to make your vision stick. I would love to hear what your vision statements are, so please share them in the comments!