A key task that you as a manager can always improve in is that of creating a vision that will inspire your team.
An inspiring vision should not just be left to the senior management team to develop. It’s something that will drive and motivate your small team as well, no matter what position you hold within the organisation. It must be clear and inspiring, enabling and practical. Here are some tips you can use to develop your own vision with your own team:
Ensure you develop your vision with your team members in mind, and believe in it yourself! Make it realistic and make it personal and practical.
As with a satellite navigational system, you need to put the end destination in first before you can determine where you are now. Then you decide on the link between the two positions. Only then can you see the steps that need to be taken to bridge the gap.
Get support from higher management for your vision. Without that, you face an upwards struggle and obstacles when you need to gain commitment from the budget-holders.
Next, think about how you are going to communicate the vision and what the medium of communication will be. Will you launch it at a big open meeting? A series of smaller meetings? One-on-Ones? A mixture of all of these? Whatever you decide, make sure everyone understands it, and what their role is in it.
Be available at all times to talk individually to everyone if they have any questions or queries about the application of the vision.
Make sure everyone has the help they need to build the skills to participate in the vision.
Set milestones along the route so everyone knows how they are doing against the planned journey. Help everyone to buy-in to the journey.
Keep an eye open for anyone who tries, meaningfully or not, to sabotage the journey on the route to the vision. These negative people may impact the rest, so keep them under your wing and offer support at all times.
Ensure you mention the vision and the goals often, so everyone can see how committed you are to achieving it.
Live it yourself, so all team members can follow your lead and example every step of the way.
Celebrate achieving goals along the way. The vision is the journey and everyone must see the rewards if they are to maintain momentum on the journey. Keep it clear and motivational, and you will reap the rewards of teamwork, positivity, motivation and drive.
Originally published: 14 January, 2011
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