Your Vision Is Not Enough
As Darwin said, it is not the strong that survive but the adaptable. But vision alone is not enough. It is a long way for the typical employee, between where they are and where the visionary leader wants to go. Often what energizes the innovative leader scares the bejesus out of the rest of the team. The consummate visionary leader says we are going to reinvent ourselves and take new ground. We want to fix it before it is broken. The rank and file employee often says if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. All that change is risky, and we like the security provided by certainty. The truth is that both perspectives have merit.
As discussed earlier, in today’s world, change is not an option. The challenge for the visionary leader is not whether or not we will change. It is instead, how will you get your team behind the new vision. If your vision is a big one, you can’t get there by yourself. You will need your entire team to make it happen.
Here are some practical tips to get your team on board.
Pull, Don’t Push. Share the impact. Tell people about the difference your new visionary destination will have. Talk about the needs it will fill and the way it will bring about real and meaningful change. Tell about how it will help people. When your team understands the need, they will be more open to adopting your visionary solution. If the need is powerful enough, they will want it as much as you do.
Have your team help you figure out how to get there. When they weigh in on the solution, they will buy into the execution and delivery.
Slow down, to speed up. Neuroscience has shown us that there is an inverse relationship between speed and trust. When it comes to something new or different, the faster you move, the less people trust you. Make sure you don’t lose your people along the way. Big visions require great teamwork. You can’t get there without your team. Watch for signs you are losing them. It could be key phrases or words, the use of pronouns like “your’s” instead of “ours,” or non-verbal clues. Make sure your team is with you. Give them plenty of time, room, and space. Be patient. You and your entire team will get there.
Talk Less, Listen More. Great leaders spend less time talking and more time listening. They ask great questions that open up meaningful dialogue. They tap into the collective wisdom of their team to create better solutions and natural buy-in. Because they are in tune with their team, they know when to move forward and when to wait. If you are the only one talking, your team is not on board.
Take It One Step At A Time. Too much change at one time can be overwhelming. Prioritize which modifications will give you the biggest bang for your buck and then pick them off one at a time. Allow your team the time to acclimate to the new normal before moving on to the next change. Celebrate along the way to build team confidence in your ability to adapt while building an appetite for your next major change.
Want a partner to help make your big vision a reality? We would like to help. Contact a Culture Coach at DRYVE Leadership Group today!