We want everyone in our team to be on board with our vision so that we can spend a lot of time and energy trying to get people on our bus to join us on our journey. However, vision is a choice; if you want me to get on your bus, I need to know where you’re going and then I decide if I want to go there.
Your vision needs to be clear and well communicated, and if it’s not, then you run the risk of people being apathetic toward it; they’re neither on nor off your bus. Once you have shared your vision, your team need to decide if they are really up for it. If they are, great, let’s get on this bus and get going, and if they are not then that’s ok as well, but they might need to find a bus which they can get excited about. I say ‘might’ because it’s worth talking to them to see if they can get on board, but if not then that really is ok.
I was working with a school on their vision and we had our work up on a wall. A teaching assistant came in, read the vision, looked at the head and said ‘Is this what you want? We can do that, no problem’ and marched out determinedly. The head told me she’d been trying to get them to understand that for years!
In having a clear, well-communicated vision, that TA was able to know what was wanted for the school and make her choice about it. She could have just as easily said ‘I’m not up for that’ and then it would be about either sensibly trying to bring her round or helping her find somewhere where she does want to get on the bus.
Top tip: Work out who you think does and doesn’t want your vision, then talk to the ‘nots’ and listen to why they don’t and what would need to change for them to. It doesn’t mean you will change your vision, it doesn’t mean you will not, but you might get some useful information.
About the Author
Sonia Gill is founder of Heads Up, specialising in supporting Head Teachers and School Leaders create an outstanding school culture. https://ukheadsup.com