Many leaders have great visions and dreams for themselves and their organizations but after a while they realize that they are not moving ahead. People do not buy into their vision and eventually they give up and their visions and dreams die! Why?
The reason is that they don’t have any strategy for keeping their vision alive. Having a strategy for demonstrating your vision, communicating it with others, monitoring the progress toward fulfilling the vision and the buy-in ratio, and finding ways to energize, motivate, and inspire more people to buy into the vision and help you and the organization fulfill the vision is necessary.
Vision Alive is a tool that can help you keep your vision alive. Vision Alive has four components: vision poster, vision caster, vision meter, and vision energizer.
Vision poster simply demonstrates your vision on a poster. It is like painting your vision for others to see. Visual presentation is different from verbal presentation. When you show people a vivid picture of where you want to take them rather than just talking about it the impact would be bigger and the odds of getting there are much more. On the other hand when people continuously see something with their physical eyes they connect better and the image is carved in their subconscious mind to achieve it.
To prepare a vision poster you can do the following:
• Write down your powerful vision statement
• Identify keywords/key phrases of your vision statement
• Visualize a powerful and positive image of the future when you fulfill and live the vision
• Visualize the keywords and key phrases and link them to your mental picture of the vision
• With these mental images in mind, draw/paint what you have in mind (you may also write down some details of Vision 20 about your mental images)
• Have a creative painter (or graphic designer) to professionally paint what you have drawn and include the details of what you have written about your mental images in the painting
• Review the draft of your vision poster and make sure it clearly, powerfully, and positively demonstrates your vision (don’t forget to have your vision statement written on your vision poster as well)
• Revise, if necessary, and share your vision poster with other visionary leaders in your organization for their input
• Finalize your vision poster
Vision caster is all about communicating your vision. As mentioned earlier, no matter how great your vision, if you cannot communicate it properly and effectively you most probably will not fulfill it. Vision Caster is combination of ways through which you communicate your vision to people.
Here are some ways by which you can cast your vision:
Posting your vision poster: you can prepare high quality color prints of your vision poster and post them in various locations so that people can see and connect with it all the time. This is a powerful method of communicating your vision.
Video: Another powerful way of communicating your vision to others is through videos. You can talk about your vision and how to achieve it and have it video recorded. Remember that the way you present yourself through video is very important. I highly recommend that you memorize what you want to talk about in a video rather than reading from notes. When you read your notes you cannot connect with your audience effectively. In videos you need to have effective eye contact, hand gestures, vocal variety, and body language. When you are energized and passionate about your vision this can be felt by those who watch you.
Audio: You can also communicate your vision with others through audio recordings. Since audio recordings do not typically involve any visual aids, you need to transmit your passion through your voice. The tone of your voice, your vocal variety, effective pauses, your pace, and clarity of your language are key factors in effective communication of your vision through audio. Please note that it is important for people to hear your voice rather than someone else’s when communicating the vision.
Face-to-face meetings: You need to remind people of the vision during face-to-face meetings. This is one of the best and most effective ways because people can directly hear it from you live. However, due to busy schedules this way of communication does not happen often these days. Nevertheless, you should make your best to communicate it to top leaders in your organization directly and remind them to communicate that face-to-face with their teams and so on.
Annual events: Annual employee meetings or events are customary in organizations. In annual meetings, you get a chance to have a speech regarding the past or current year and the year ahead. This is a great opportunity to make an impact by communicating your vision with all the employees directly and answer their questions.
It is crucial that you are well prepared. Try not to read from your notes. If you believe in your vision and have a clear picture of where you want your organization and your people to be, you do not need to read your notes. Unfortunately, many leaders fail to communicate properly with their people in such important occasions. Showing power point slides or talking about numbers only is not the right way. You need to make an impact. You need to motivate people and above all you need to inspire them. Speeches are great ways to have people buy into your vision and act toward achieving goals and dreams. If you don’t know how, you’d better to take a speech delivery class or at least become a Toastmasters member.
Trainings: By providing some training to employees on how they can help in fulfilling the organization’s vision and the benefits and rewards of living the vision, you take a big step toward success. The more people you have on board, the bigger the odds of achieving the vision.