Everyday you set out to meet lofty goals... In your personal life you strive to ‘have a great day,’ meditate, get healthy, be kind to everyone, and be present.
At work you strive to get a lot done:
✔complete your “to-do” list
✔connect with your team
✔take a lunch break
✔stay focussed and manage your time well
✔move the long-term project forward
✔handle those HR priorities
Yet you don’t often reach those daily goals, due to all the meetings, inevitable fires and splintered focus.
If you’re not seeing measurable progress toward, and closure on the goals, what is your team seeing?
Getting and keeping a team of people (even a family) clear and focussed on desired outcomes isn’t easy at the best of times, let alone when everyone is feeling hurried and overwhelmed.
As leaders we often crave a ‘reset’: an opportunity to start fresh in some way, get re-oriented and re-invigorated by our work. We want to feel energized by progress, and feel satisfied and proud for what we achieve. And we want the people around us to feel that also.
One powerful way that we help busy leaders and their teams become clear and inspired is by creating and totally rocking a Shared Vision.
A shared vision inspires (vs. a generic plaque on the wall, which becomes part of the furniture). It reminds you why you get out of bed each morning, it shows up in the way you carry yourself, it provides clarity on direction, and it offers ongoing guidelines for how you communicate and lead by example.
What do all great visions have in common?
They provide answers to these 5 points:
- Purpose: Why do we exist? What greater good do we serve?
- Destination: Where are we going?
- Values: What principles inspire us to do great work? What principles guide our decisions and actions on our journey?
- Service: What do we do?
- Connection: How does my role align with, and contribute to, this greater good?
I use this exercise at home when I realize that our day-to-day activities of dinner and lunch making, homework, bedtime routines, sports, home upkeep, etc., often leaves a lingering sense of frustration. The purpose of living and working together as a family has been forgotten, and we’re racing to “get things done”. Trevor and I often forget that the purpose of this routine is to create more time and space for fun and freedom, to enjoy what the kids desire and what we desire. That really is our vision, yet we end up using a drill sergeant technique to get things done, instead of collaborating. Yikes! How is that fun and freeing?!
The same goes for work. You have a team and there are times when you will be unintentionally too busy to connect with them. Your boss and your boss’s boss will tell you to, “Go this way! No, stop! Sprint the opposite way! Run! Drop that! Now, do this!”, and you will find yourself feeling conflicted, and concerned because of what you are doing to your team.
That’s why we need a shared vision: something to go back to when things get a little crazy and we want to get rooted again and regain a sense of control and purpose.
Here is how we help individuals and teams fuel the passion to keep focused when there are obstacles, competing priorities and challenges.
Creating a Shared Vision
Vision taps into meaningful standards of working together that people care deeply about. All of this requires input from the whole team, so that everyone sees themselves in the vision.
Actioning the 5 Steps to a Shared Vision:
1) Purpose: Why do we exist?
This is really about what you believe. Why do you (and your team) offer what you offer? What greater good do you serve?
2) Destination: Where are we going? How do we want to help people in the future? Who do we want to become?
It’s a look ahead into the future you want to create. Helps you capture the world you desire to live or work in, that your service or product serves. It is not what you do now, but what you are striving for.
3) Values: How do we do what we do? How do we think and act?
What principles inspire and guide our decisions and actions to do great work?
4) Service: What do we do? What services or products do you offer? What are you selling (to your clients, team, the world...)?
5) Connection: How does your and each team member’s role contribute to the greater good you serve? Where do you see yourself in this vision? What aligns most for you and inspires you to contribute to this vision?
It can be stressful, exhausting and near impossible to be high performing all the time.
How can you commit time on a regular basis to assess your individual and collective level of inspiration, drive and commitment toward your shared vision?
It doesn’t need to be a lot of time, but an upfront commitment to creating the vision, and keeping your finger on the pulse of it, will pay big dividends in team engagement, wellness and overall performance!
We often help clients integrate these 5 steps into their weekly meetings to help determine any blind spots or issues, to highlight what’s working and recognize what is needed to foster inspiration.
Through discussing and workshopping this process, a shared vision can come alive and become meaningful to everyone on your team.
When do you need a vision most?
When there are challenges, unresolved matters, conflicting views, tension, stress, power and confidence struggles, trust issues, mistakes/misunderstandings, unclear roles and responsibilities.
When should you include your vision into your interactions?
Before, during and after any of these challenges cause harm to people’s performance, energy, commitment and well-being.
To hone your skills of self- awareness, commitment and performance click the poster below to be a part of our next Ultimate Leadership Experience where leaders identify blind spots, practice new ways of thinking, leading and improving their results.