Learn how leaders should effectively communicate and share a vision to make it impactful.
Today’s post is by Oleg Konovalov, author of THE VISION CODE: How To Create And Execute A Compelling Vision For Your Business (CLICK HERE to get your copy).
Communication makes vision visible and attractive to others. It can inspire the visionary’s passion in others or drive people away. A poorly communicated vision is dead if not successfully shared with others.
Communication is the essential property of vision and visionary leadership whose primary role is to make vision a collective property, giving it away so others can participate in it. A vision’s strength is determined by how well it is communicated to others.
In practical terms, attracting investors is critical. Attracting as many supporters as possible is even more critical and far more difficult. Only by communicating as broadly and actively as possible does vision gain its full viability and functionality.
Three core elements define effective communication of a vision—language, communication, and sharing.
Vision often requires using old terms in new ways or even inventing new terms. This makes communication even more critical as the visionary is in some ways trying to communicate not just a new idea but new elements of language as well.
Language defines areas of human activity. Approximately 1,000 neologisms are added to the English language each year. All these new words appeared as a result of exploring new areas of life while fleshing out a vision. Today, we are googling for information because of Google, not searching as we did a decade ago.
Visionaries use language as an instrument to connect minds and hearts. The success of their vision—whether it succeeds and changes the world or is passed over—is largely the result of the visionary’s ability to use language.
Vision is a well-structured thought that becomes words that are turned into actions. The language of vision should connect different understandings into a common and clear one. This should be a language of common values, the language that enables people to create a future together. When it comes to vision, words are as important as actions. They should resonate in people’s minds as being both inspirational and pragmatic.
Visionaries communicate the future. There is not much for us in the past, except for lessons. All our hopes and desires are in the future and this is what we communicate. Communicate for the future you want to create, not the past you aim to leave far behind.
Communication should reflect progress as the vision grows. Supporters must see the results of their effort. Every great success is built on effective communication and its influence determined by how widely it is shared.
Stuart Crainer, co-founder of Thinkers50, sees communication being essential: “You can have a great vision but not tell anybody about it. Then it wouldn’t go anywhere far. The best leaders are great communicators and they’re quite happy to communicate the same thing in exactly the same way day in, day out. The best leaders are the best communicators.”
Effective communication of vision begins with humility. To communicate a vision effectively, a visionary must first stop thinking of himself as a big boss. A visionary is not a king or dictator but an inspirer and doer. Acting superior to others will not gain their support and engagement. To accept feedback, you have to allow yourself to care about their response. Unfortunately, many find this kind of humility very difficult.
Communication starts with your immediate team. They are co-creators of the vision and will be more effective the more they understand and have a stake in that vision.
Prof. Amit Kapoor, Chairman of the Institute for Competitiveness of India, offered his view on the importance of engaging a team through effective communication of vision: “I start with the team itself because they are my immediate stakeholders who are actually creating something together. I think they need to know or understand what we are really trying to do because they have to be part of the dream itself. If they are not part of the dream they will leave.”
Engage the team around your vision. This is a critical function of visionary leaders. Hence, a leader who doesn’t care to communicate a vision and engage his team is left with a team incapable of making decisions and executing the vision.
While exploring communication as the critical element of vision, I felt that something was missing. What is the difference between communicating and sharing vision?
A compelling vision demands compelling communication where word of mouth is simply not enough. It must be passionately shared to reach hearts. John Spence, one of the top global experts on leadership, commented about the role of sharing: “Sharing is very similar to communicating, but sharing has more emotion to it. We’re telling stories and we’re giving examples and we’re putting more of our personality into it while communicating is more like simply pushing it out. Sharing allows a company to motivate employees by giving them an opportunity to be involved in crafting the vision—not just being told what it is.”
Sharing helps get the vision into the unconscious mind and thus, has an in-depth effect in engaging people and turning them into real participants. We communicate information, where a story of success and positive change is shared. The more you share, the more energy a vision will gain from supporters.
A Practical Magic
The true magic in communicating vision lies in the ability to encourage ownership of the vision in others. The ownership of vision can be defined by realizing who owns the results of the vision. Sharing vision is a process of transferring the rights of possession and obligations to execute them from the visionary to his supporters. It helps to lift people towards their higher purpose, encouraging them to think beyond the possible.
Vision is a never-ending narrative that should thrill people at every stage. Keep the engaging rhythm and consistent pace of telling this life-changing story, making people desire to make their own mark within it.
Dr. Oleg Konovalov is a thought leader, educator, coach, and author of THE VISION CODE: How To Create And Execute A Compelling Vision For Your Business. For more information, please visit: www.OlegKonovalov.com
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