Not only does a leader need to be able to set a vision for his/her team, a leader also must be able to inspire a shared vision among the team members. This ability to inspire a shared vision is one of the most crucial keys to being a successful leader. But before the vision can be shared, it first needs to be developed. The leader needs to be clear about the vision and live the vision so that the team can see it and model it from the leader’s behavior.
Choosing a Vision for the Team
As the leader, you need to decide what you want the team to accomplish and what needs to be done to get there. Determine attainable goals for your team and focus on these goals. The vision of the team will provide the team members with a sense of direction. The vision guides the team towards the end goal and keeps the team focused in one direction.
Communicating the Vision
It is essential that leaders know that communication is more than just the words they say or the memos they write. Actions speak louder than words, and every opportunity should be taken to communicate the team vision both in words and deeds. To help you effectively communicate the vision, it is helpful to reduce it to a short slogan that sums up the vision. The slogan can be posted in prominent locations to help the team to keep their focus on the vision.
Identifying the Benefits of the Vision
Put yourself in the position of the members of your team, and answer the question “What has the vision in it for me?” The answer is often not as straightforward as you may expect. Performance bonuses and awards may work at times as an incentive, but team members are most often motivated by the need to feel part of a successful team. Everyone loves to be part of a winning team, and most of us crave acceptance.
The feeling of belonging is a strong need in most people. If you can get your team members to be excited about being part of the vision and accept it as their own, they will often perform over and above what is expected of them.