In their best-selling book The Leadership Challenge, researchers James Kouzes and Barry Posner identify Inspire a Shared Vision as one of the five things that the best leaders from around the world do.
Instead of just making it another “to-do” item on your list, think of inspiring a shared vision as an invaluable tool in your leadership toolkit.
Through thousands of leaders profiled from around the world, this practice rose to the top five things the best leaders do.
To inspire a shared vision, two facets come into play.
First, you envision the future by imagining exciting and ennobling possibilities. That just means you get a picture in your mind’s eye of what things could be like.
All ideas for this don’t need to originate with you, by the way. A smart leader is listening to their team to glean the best ideas. You synthesize it, crystalize it, then own it.
What I mean is you make it your own. You have to be fully on board and sold on the vision before you invite others in. Then start to champion that vision to be realized.
The second part is that you enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations. Talk about the vision regularly, and invite people into that journey with you.
When you talk about the vision, explain why it matters and how it is going to be really good for all. The more vivid and clear the vision is to folks, the more they will also be excited and get on board.
Think back on a few exemplary leaders from history or that you have experienced. You’ll likely find that this is one of the things that they did. Now it’s your turn.
As you launch into this year, I challenge you to inspire a share vision with your team. And pay attention to the difference in how your team responds.
For your success in 2023,
p.s. Having a coach to help you practice inspiring a shared vision is a great way to master this behavior of a leader. Reach out if you want to talk about what that would look like.