Have you ever wondered what compels people to rally behind a cause or a brand?
Most entrepreneurs are perplexed about how to create an impassioned community of followers for their brand. Inspiration is often the doorway to brand advocacy, loyalty and a devoted following. However, simply talking about your vision is not enough for people to develop a hard-core connection to your cause. You must capture their heart, energy, and focus.
Many entrepreneurs who launch a new business often narrowly focus on delivering products and services. Yet, supply alone will not entice others to invest in you, work for you and support you in tangible ways.
When you see competitors successfully engaging ideal customers, receiving brand exposure, and raising funds it’s easy to sit and wonder, “Why this is not happening for me?” The answer is simple: They have created and communicated a strong leadership vision that bonds people and delivered on consumer needs that go way beyond a product or service.
You too can carefully craft a compelling leadership vision that will motivate and inspire others. It’s time to share the who and why behind your work. Follow these three steps to create a captivating leadership vision.
1. Know who you are and what you stand for
Your leadership vision does not stand on its own. You are behind the vision. It must tie into what you believe is important and what drives you. The who behind the what needs to be clear.
“Leadership vision is an essential means for focusing attention on what matters most; what you want to accomplish in your life and what kind of leader you wish to be,” according to Harvard Business Review. “A useful vision has to be rooted in your past, address the future, and deal with today’s realities. It represents who you are and what you stand for. It inspires you, and the people whose commitment you need, to act to make constructive change towards a future you all want to see.”
In fact, John Smale, former Chairman of General Motors, clearly “believed no individual or organization would ever reach their potential without a clear understanding of their own purpose in life and the purpose of the organization they led.”
Consider your top five core values, what matters to you, and what you stand for as a leader. ”
2. Connect the dots for your community
Your leadership vision needs momentum which is often fueled and driven by others. In turn, your community needs to feel motivated to carry out your mission. In reality, “people want to be part of a community and spotlight themselves as individuals at the same time.” It’s up to you to make the connection.
The best way to inspire others is to help connect the dots that lead from your vision to the actual work they will carry out. This requires clarity on the why of the work.
Create a clear statement that encapsulates your leadership vision. You may never share it formally, but it will help you to ensure you can communicate your passion with clarity.
During the year schedule informal check-ins with your peers and team. Ask them what they think your leadership vision entails. This will give you a good sense of whether you have hit the mark or need to return to the drawing board.
3. Survey the momentum of your movement
A strong leadership vision is always underpinned by momentum. Ask yourself:
- Does it excite and ignite me?
- Do I engage with it enthusiastically?
- Have I communicated it with energy and encouraged others to do the same?
If you answered yes to these questions, then you can authentically catalyze your vision. If not, slow down and assess what doesn’t feel quite right.
Reflect on ideas that energize and engage you today. Define ways to strengthen your vision or create a new vision altogether. No one will follow you if your vision is undefined or shallow.
Create a leadership vision that inspires, motivates, and captures hearts. When you do this well, your tribe will enthusiastically follow you and actively help you make your vision a reality.
Phyllis Reagin is the Founder of At The Coach’s Table, a Los Angeles-based confidence coaching company. A former leader for a Fortune 500 company, she teaches female leaders how to uproot their insecurities, to assertively deal with others and situations, and to find their empowered voice. You can sign up for Phyllis’ free weekly Confidence Sparks emails here.
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