Have You Shared Your Vision for the Business?

May 17, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

It is tedious and requires repetition to tell all your employees and other stakeholders where you see the business in 5 to 15 years. Your employees are different than your customers and they need to hear your vision seven or more times before it sinks in. A strong self direction and role awareness are part of being a leader. You cannot lead a business if you do not have a long term strategic plan for yourself and your company. I see this frequently in business owners who keep their vision to themselves and in doing so risk alienating and adding to the stress of their employees. Share it and you gain engaged and excited employees.

Just as your marketing messages need to be seen or heard 6 or more times, so do your employees need to see and hear your vision for the business. Spaced repetition, which is reading or listening to new information 5 to 6 days in a row, creates a 62% retention rate 15 years or longer into the future. That is how you learned the ABC’s and multiplication tables as a child and you still know that information. The investment that you as the leader make in repeating your vision to the employees will be returned in the form of an informed workforce who feels like stakeholders in the company’s success.

There are numerous rewards that you receive from owning or managing a company. Growth, income, and satisfaction are a few and you cannot accomplish any of those things without your employees. Often we see a leader that was a CEO in a large company take an assignment in a smaller firm. In the prior position, they had more resources and left the topic of sharing their vision to human resources and employee handbooks. That may be prove to be an error with consequences. Your role as the leader has changed and that change is an opportunity to use different skills. What you did before wasn’t wrong and doing something different as a leader gives us the chance to maximize our skills and knowledge.

Your vision is a strategic direction that is intended to guide the organization for a period of 5-15 years. The vision statement is how you describe what your organization aspires to become under your leadership. Having a clear picture of where you want to take the organization and what that will look like is the foundation of your success.

You may liken your vision to a road map. If you were directed to drive from your home to Clayton, Georgia you wouldn’t begin without a map or directions. Your role as a leader is to get the employees focused upon the future because that’s where all of us are going to spend the rest of our lives.

Be authentic as you share your vision for the organization and be honest. I’ve seen a CEO pass out 3×5 cards asking the staff for input and the input never used. His staff will no longer ask a question in a meeting for fear of reprisal. Sharing ‘why” your organization exists is your vision (5-15 years) along with the mission (12-18 months) are the beginning of a process that will hopefully include objectives, values and specific actions.

Your vision, shared throughout the organization, is the foundation and should not be overlooked or delegated. That’s your role as the leader. Get out in front and lead.

To receive a complimentary assessment of your leadership traits, contact KES Group at info@kesgroupllc.com.

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