As the business owner, one of your most important jobs is to provide direction to those who you’ve charged with operating your business. Without your vision, the business has no direction. Given the importance of this subject, I’m dedicating today’s post to vision casting. Are you able to articulate your dreams and goals in a way that motivates your team to succeed? Join me, as we explore the art of effectively casting vision as a business owner.
Follow Along With The Financially Simple Experience!
Former Herman Miller Inc. CEO, Max DePree once said,
“Management has a lot to do with answers. Leadership is a function of questions, and the first question for a leader always is: ‘Who do we intend to be?’ Not ‘What are we going to do?’”
For some of us, this comes naturally. However, sharing a clear and focused vision with our team can be challenging; even for those of us who tend to think more in the “big picture” sense.
Not too long ago, my brother and I got to fulfill a vision that the two of us had for our personal lives. We made it a goal to go deep into the Rocky Mountains to hunt elk. Now, neither of us had been to the Rockies, and even though we’re both skilled hunters, we had never hunted elk on our own before. We decided that we wanted to live out this dream without a guide. So, we spent several weeks researching everything we could to prepare us for what we were going to do.
We ultimately accomplished exactly what we set out to do. The two of us went out on our own and got “within range” of one of these beautiful animals every day that we were in the mountains. Neither of us came home with an elk on this trip, but we proved to ourselves that we could make it through the challenging terrain and track our prey so that the next time we go, we’ll be operating from first-hand experience.
But what if we had no experience in the wilderness and didn’t really know what animals we were looking for. We wouldn’t know where we needed to go, what equipment we would need to bring, or even the licenses that we’d need to have. Let’s take it a little further and say that I’m leading the trip and I have to bring a group of people with me that also have no experience and aren’t even sure what kind of trip we’re taking.
This seems like a pretty hopeless situation. Right? Well, as business owners, you have the unique ability to see where you’re going, what you’re trying to accomplish, and how you’re going to do it. Because of this, your team relies on you and your ability to tell them what you’ve seen and where to go.
Chances are, you already have some inkling of where you want your business to go—what you want it to be. It might be a vision to reduce your stress level or enable you to have a more flexible schedule. Perhaps, your vision is for something more monumental that you believe God has designated for you and your business. Whatever it is, you have a general idea of what you want to accomplish. But how do you articulate that to your team? How do you inspire them to move forward with your vision when you’re still a little unclear on what it is?
If you don’t fully understand what it is that you’re envisioning for your company, nobody else will either. Your vision isn’t a task to be completed and checked off of a list. Don’t approach it this way because you will only be wasting time. Your vision should serve a direct purpose for your business.
One of my biggest purposes in life is impact. I want to make a positive impact on as many people as I possibly can. I’ve often said that cemeteries are some of the saddest places on Earth. Not just because people died, but because their wisdom, experiences, and lives aren’t recorded. I think about how each one of them affected the world around them and it makes me sad to know that we will never know the full value that these people brought to the world. That’s why the purpose of our vision is so important. We need to make sure that it has a lasting impact.
When you’re clarifying and defining your vision, think of what type of impact you want to make. Ask yourself if it is possible and whether your team could help you get to where you want to be. Then you need to break that vision down and decide what each team member’s role will be in accomplishing your vision. After all of this, discuss it with your team leaders, ensuring that you’re able to communicate it effectively.
I don’t know about you but I get so tired of leaders and business owners with no personality. If we can’t get excited about what we’re doing then who will? I mean, imagine getting up in front of your team to share your vision and having the energy of Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Would your team respond to that? Would you respond to that?
When I think of inspiring personalities, I often think of one of my personal heroes, Zig Ziglar. He once said, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” I love that quote because if you can inspire your team to be all that God has created them to be, then you will achieve your goals. It’s as simple as that. If you’re getting your people to perform at the peak of their abilities in all that they do, success will almost certainly follow.
So, be excited about your vision. Be inspiring when you present it to your team. Use phrasing that emphasizes the importance and the passion of your vision. When people see how passionate you are about your vision, they will become passionate as well.
Sharing your vision isn’t enough. I have a tendency to bring an idea up to a member of my team and just walk away. I’ll admit, I’m not a great manager in that way. Therefore, I have to be intentional about following up with my team on a regular basis. I will actually write it into my daily schedule a couple of times a month because, otherwise, I would never follow up on the subject. This isn’t because I don’t care. Instead, it’s because I expect whatever has been discussed to get done without needing to revisit the topic over and over again.
Because I know this about myself, I’ve put a couple of great managers in place for the various departments that make up our team. Whether you’re like me or you’re a rockstar manager, as business owners, we have to have consistency in the vision. The vision that you have for your business needs to become a part of the culture. It needs to become so prevalent in the day-to-day operation of your business, that your team can pursue your vision without even thinking of it.
I often refer to Chick-fil-A in the blog or on the podcast. They are a great example of vision becoming culture. When Truett Cathy began his company, he knew that he wanted to serve a consistently high-quality product with exceptional service and efficiency. As a result, I can go through the drive-thru at Chick-fil-A and know that regardless of how long the line is, my order will be correct. It will be hot, it will be fresh, and the individual that serves it to me will smile and say, “My pleasure.” Impeccable service is ingrained in every aspect of their culture.
Friends, you can cast a vision. You already have some vague idea of what you want your business to be. So, ask yourself this question: have you clearly defined what it is that you’re trying to accomplish with your business? If not, think about what it is that you’re meant to do with the business that you have.
Casting vision as a business owner isn’t difficult if you follow these steps.
To learn more about how to effectively communicate your vision or the many other valuable business solutions that we offer, schedule a complimentary meeting. The team at Financially Simple has helped hundreds of business owners like you, to realize the true potential of their organizations.