“If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French writer
As a leader, you need to actively keep your and your teams’ efforts aligned to the broad organizational vision. If you don’t, your team will consist of rudderless employees who don’t understand where the company is going or what they are trying to achieve. They will struggle to engage in their work, collaborate effectively across teams, and make informed decisions quickly.
When a leader has a clear foresight as to where he wants to steer his ship, the people who work for the leader are in a far more comfortable place to understand that their efforts are fruitful, and it gives them the confidence that they are heading in the right direction. According to a Harvard Business Review survey, 72% of the respondents expected their leader to be forward-looking and a visionary.
A leader with a clear vision can engage both the imagination and his people’s energies. As Peter Drucker notes, “An effective leader knows that the ultimate task of leadership is to create human energies and human vision.” Tying the vision to what the organization and its people value most helps garner everyone’s commitment to realizing it.
Here's why a leader needs to create a compelling vision statement and follow through with it.
- Gives the team direction
- Motivates the team members
- Allows better planning and execution
- Helps track progress
Gives the team direction – The team always looks up to their leader for direction and guidance. You need to continually reiterate the vision and align individual goals to ensure that all energies are unified in the same direction. Every strategy you devise and every task you undertake has a purpose. Aligning each activity’s very purpose to the larger organizational vision makes it meaningful and helps realize it.
Motivates the team members – Well-aligned and clear goals motivate team members to deliver better, especially when they help identify and map their individual efforts for a larger cause. Being able to see what they contribute to gives them a sense of fulfillment and pride. Creating a supportive environment by providing resources such as materials, assistance, and information can further motivate team members.
Allows better planning and execution – The leader should come up with a development plan to achieve the set objectives. Before devising a plan of action on achieving the goals, leaders must evaluate each team member’s skill and motivation levels. Assigning the right team members to the appropriate assignment should be a project goal for team leaders.
Helps track progress – To assure the success of a project, team leaders should monitor each team member’s progress and the project’s overall progress. Evaluating the group’s success at various stages in the project ensures the team stays on track and reaches a conclusion on time and within a budget. The goal of team leaders is to ensure the project is moving forward towards completion.
Keep in mind the following points when developing a vision statement for your team:
Make the vision statement clear and easy to understand
The vision statement should be concise and no longer than a sentence or two. It should be specific and must align with the company’s long-term vision.
Bridge the present and the future
Your vision statement should provide a picture of the future. It helps describes your organization’s direction or goal and the means of accomplishing it. It guides the work of the organization. The vision should be compelling enough to inspire, motivate, and engage people.
Make it ambitious
An ambitious vision statement that is not limited by current circumstances or by what is perceived as possible indicates that your organization aims high and demands high-performance standards from the team members. Use powerful words and vivid phrases to articulate the kind of team you are trying to become.
Clarify direction and purpose
Clarify the team’s current state and the envisioned future state. Create systems that will enable your team to track their goals and progress. This creates a culture of accountability around the vision that has been set.
Set a standard of excellence
Reward behaviors and performance of those who are consistently meeting targets. Besides, as a leader, you need to lead by example. Emulate those behaviors that are required to drive optimal performance in the team.
One of your main tasks as a leader is to motivate your team members to collaborate and get things done that help achieve the overall organizational objectives. It would be best if you spent sufficient time creating a compelling vision for your team that aligns with the organization’s vision to ensure that the team focuses on common goals and works together to accomplish them.
KNOLSKAPE is one of the fastest-growing experiential learning tech companies in the world. KNOLSKAPE accelerates employee growth and Development using an award-winning portfolio of simulations and in-depth talent analytics. KNOLSKAPE is a 110+ strong team with ofﬁces in Singapore, India, Malaysia, and USA serving a rapidly growing global client base across industries such as banking and ﬁnance, consulting, IT, FMCG, retail, manufacturing, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, engineering, auto, government and academia. KNOLSKAPE is a global Top 20 gamiﬁcation company, recipient of Brandon Hall awards, and has been recognized as a company to watch for in the Talent Management Space, by Frost & Sullivan, and as a disruptor in the learning space, by Bersin by Deloitte.