Numerous leadership books will tell you that having a vision is important. But for many people, the idea alone is difficult to understand, which makes developing a team vision elusive.
Having a vision for your team is critical because it gives the members clarity on the team’s purpose and where it’s going. That clarity helps in day-to-day decision making, prioritizing, and understanding expectations.
Here is a simple 6-step process to help you create a meaningful and compelling vision for your team.
Step 1: Discuss/review the organizational vision, values, and objectives and how your role can help the organization achieve its vision and objectives and
live by the stated values.
Step 2: Review/document the personal values that are important to you.
Step 3: Imagine yourself one year from now reading from your journal and reflecting back on how your team performed. As you are reading your journal, you notice that everything went exactly as you would have liked. You and your team lived by the values that were important to the organization and to you as a leader, your team was balanced and focused on its highest priorities, and the team achieved everything it set out to do.
What did the team accomplish?
What were the values the team lived by? How was the team together?
Step 4: Create your vision for your team by responding to these questions.
What is it that your team is designed and destined to do (its purpose)?
What is the ideal future state of the team?
Describe how you envision the team will get there. What are the ways in which you expect the team to operate? What concisely describes how the team will be together? What will the culture of the team be like?
Step 5: Identify how you will communicate your vision and gain commitment from your people. Ideas may include:
During team meetings, 1-1s, and in ad hoc conversations.
Create a story about your vision.
Communicate a metaphor to help convey your message.
Practice talking about your vision.
Step 6: Check your vision
Is your vision compelling? Would people want to be part of it?
Does it constitute a deeper or broader aspiration than just describing the work that gets done in the team?
Do all team members understand it and agree with it?
Does it contain themes that team members find meaningful and memorable? Can one repeat it easily if asked?
Do you have a vision for your team?
Sal Silvester is the founder and president of 5.12 Solutions (five-twelve) and author of The Ultimate Goal Setting Guide and Ignite! The 4 Essential Rules for Emerging Leaders. Sal has a unique perspective on team development and leadership gained through his experience over the past 17 years as an Army Officer, an executive at Accenture, and founder of 5.12 Solutions. He has led and managed teams in the desert of Kuwait, the mountains of Turkey, and in the offices of many clients on process improvement, organizational change, and training projects.