Every business, project or team should start with a vision. By agreeing on a clear vision, everyone can make up their minds to make it a reality.
Besides getting everyone on the same page, “having a clearly defined vision allows the team to gauge progress and success as time passes”, said Dean Khieu, director of Smarter Solution Company, which provides GPS SmartMap? and IT consultancy in Cambodia.
A clear and simple vision is a good vision. AIESEC Cambodia’s vision is “to be the number one choice for youth in leadership development”. Lift’s mission is to be “the essential magazine for Cambodian youth”, and Smarter Solutions aims to “provide Cambodia with quality GPS (Global Positioning System) Navigation and GIS (Geographic Information System) services”. While these goals are ambitious, they are also clearly stated and easily understood.
Once you have created the vision, it is essential for you as a leader to mobilise your team, allowing people to understand what you want to be and how they can make the idea become reality. Mobilising vision means making people understand what you want to achieve and inspiring them to act.
The process of mobilizing vision is just as important as developing the vision. If you fail in this step, you will have no one to lead or you will find yourself leading a group of confused people. No matter how brilliant your vision is, if it is not understood by people, it will be worthless. Therefore, leaders have to ensure that their team’s vision is clear to everyone involved.
As a leader you must understand that despite how talented you are, you are nothing without the rest of your team. “It is very important for the employees to understand the company’s vision, as they are the key ingredient to success,” said Dean Khieu.
One of the keys to getting everyone on the same page is getting to know the people you work with and allowing them to share their ideas as well as listening to yours. Having conversations is always more effective than telling people what to do.
“I normally share my vision through formal presentations in weekly meetings, I find the team can visually understand Smarter Solutions’ business projections, objectives and agenda through discussions, illustrated graphs, charts and tables,” said Dean Khieu. Telling a story is also a good strategy to clarify your vision. In some cases, a leader might take their people to a restaurant or cafe to have an informal conversation. “Another channel for understanding the company’s vision is through informal after-work events such as sports, games or dinner. This allows for an open dialogue in a more relaxed setting”, said Dean Khieu. “I find the best strategy in my team understanding the vision of the company is through both formal and informal discussions”.
While discussions are a good way to gauge the interests and ideas of your team, ultimately a leader must make the final decision. When you reach this stage you should present your idea with passion as well as a clear idea of how the plan will be executed and an explanation of why you made the decision that you did.
When you find yourself in the position of a leader, share ideas with your team, create a vision statement that everyone can agree on and then motivate your staff with a clear and passionate presentation of what the team needs to do to make their vision a reality.