Shared vision takes time.
First you must appreciate other contributors. Shared means shared. If you supply the team vision, others must adopt it. You can’t pick the level of effort needed for them to adopt your vision. You don’t decide how hard or easy it will be to get them to fully share and appreciate your vision of the future. Each person influences the level of difficulty you’ll encounter as you try to get buy in for “your” vision.
Choose to Understand Your Team
However, you can choose to understand your team first before “setting” the vision. This solves two problems. First, you determine the amount of effort you will invest in understanding your team. Second, few people can (or will even try to) understand anyone who fails to understand them. You will eliminate a major roadblock to being understood. One of the popular Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Most people won’t understand you first. Only highly effective people do that. Understand your teammates and stakeholders and their vision of the future. That one act will take you a long way to sharing understanding.
- Do you appreciate your team enough to encourage and understand their vision of the future?
- What would they like your team to be known for?
- What do they appreciate most about your team and its contribution to the organization?
- What do they feel is their greatest contribution?
Your vision of the future will be shared and appreciated more as you appreciate and understand your team’s view better.
The Vision is Set
When the vision is set, the game changes. Until it’s set, you’re a collaborator helping the team agree on the best future and understand it in wonderful detail. Once the agreement has been reached, and the plan finalized, your role changes. In service to your team, you begin remember the vision and enforce the plan. We’ll talk about that more in a future post. But to the degree that you’re able, invest in the work necessary to give stakeholders input into the vision. The additional detail each member adds, as well as the shared ownership, will provide lift and energy propelling your team in the right direction.
Is this an area of opportunity for you? Do you build the consensus, or do you find yourself jumping ahead to the enforcer role too quickly? Or, do you spend too much time building consensus and never become the enforcer? Let us know how you’re doing in this area.