In a recent leadership survey 72% of people who answered the survey indicated they were looking for a leader who was forward looking. That is, 72% said they wanted to follow a leader that could provide hope of a better future than what they were experiencing today!
Someone once said, that the best way to lead people in the future is to connect with them in the present. People naturally want to accomplish some special and significant. It is the job of the leader to provide that hope of a much better tomorrow through the achievement of the dream.
Dreaming Big: A Man On The Moon
I remember as a young person when former-president, John F. Kennedy, cast an amazing vision that captivated our entire nation on May 25, 1960 by articulating a vision which remains an example of how to excite and to enlist people for your cause. He said, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”
No one in America could have dared dream of watching a man walk around on the moon dust during that era. What was so remarkable about this vision was that a mere 50 years earlier, almost all Americans were traveling by horse and buggy! Yet by July of 1969, men were actually walking on the moon! They had a vision, they had a strategy, and ultimately, they experienced great deal of success!
A Vision And A Goal
How could this happen so quickly? To begin with, the leadership painted a picture of what success would look like for them. This vision was specific and crystal clear. To America, success was found in placing a man on the moon and then returning him home safely. This vision was big enough to inspire an entire nation. I know, because I was an older teenager when man first walked on the moon’s surface, and I can vividly remember the excitement which swept across America.
Implementing the Vision
I cannot even imagine the steps which were required for the team to achieve their dream. This is where so many people and their teams seem to stumble and falter with their dream. For creating actionable steps requires an enormous amount of time and thought. Then you must place the steps in sequential order.
On top of the above planning steps, leadership must now decide how to communicate the vision. A critical principle I have learned over the years in communicating is that this communication must be continual. Some leaders mistakenly believe they can communicate their dream to their team only once, or possibly even twice and expect the dream to “take off.” This, quite frankly, is not going to happen in most cases! All of Leadership must continually communicate the same message often, in order to keep the dream ever-before the people.
Again, this is where even good leaders fail. Thinking it is enough to communicate the vision one time and that the team will stay focused on it is rather ludicrous. People lose focus by nature. Their minds shift, their daily priorities begin to shift. Keeping the dream before the team will keep everyone calibrated toward what is really most important.
An Outline For Accomplishing Your Vision
In closing, let me provide the outline I have used many time in dealing with the subject of accomplishing your vision.
1) Create the Vision. Draw a portrait with words and pictures, of what success will look like for you.
2) Be Clear and specific. What steps are needed, and in what precise order, will lead me to the accomplishment of the dream?
3) Compelling. A small dream never excites anyone. Dream big!!
What is your BIG “Man on the Moon” Idea? What would you do if you knew that you could not fail, to know that all you had to do was to execute the plan and success would be certain?
4) Calibration. There will be times in which you will need to tweak the action steps.
5) Celebration. Take time to celebrate success along the way with the team. This creates momentum.
Finally, dream big, for small dreams inspire no one.