I believe a vision is a necessary courtesy of leadership.
If I want you to follow me then really I need to tell you where we’re going. If I don’t then would you follow me?
Probably not, and if you did you wouldn’t be able to contribute as much as you could because you wouldn’t know where we are going and I wouldn’t have excited you about it by sharing my vision.
It’s a bit like going on a holiday. I say to you ‘I’m going on holiday, do you want to come?’. You want to know where, I say, don’t worry, it’s going to be great, trust me on this one.
Eventually I manage to persuade you. Great! You wonder what to pack, you end up packing a bit of everything to be on the safe side, jumpers and shorts, jeans and summer tops, thick socks and sandals.
Will you enjoy it when we get there? Who knows?
Can you commit to this holiday fully? Unlikely.
Can you prepare for it properly and bring things that will make it enjoyable? No.
Now if I say we’re going skiing what does that do? You might think ‘I love skiing!’ Or ‘I hate skiing!’ Or ‘I’ve never been skiing before!’ You’re certainly in a better position to decide if you want to go and if you do decide to ski you can get excited about it and you will have a far better idea of what to pack to make it a good holiday.
Visions are the same in that we need to tell people where we are going, even if it seems obvious, so they can decide if they want to be on our bus.
But what’s hard about a vision is they are a lot harder to get clear on and articulate than most people think. Deep down we know what we want but the hard part is figuring it out, something few leaders are trained or supported to do.
I’ll be discussing this in more detail at my upcoming training day: ‘Breaking the glass ceiling of ‘Good’ – click here for further information