David Blair DeHaven, a former PTA president and Liberty University Online adjunct faculty member, helps people in developing a vision by not just giving them a goal and defining the steps that will allow people to reach it. A vision corresponds to the image everyone has of ourselves and the meaning everyone gives to their actions. Without vision, everyone will not be engaged and everyone will not be able to engage others.
When thinking of a leader, people usually think of someone who pursues a single vision, one who, like Martin Luther King,”has a dream”. Also, people consider the fact of having a vision as the characteristic of a few geniuses like Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg and therefore beyond our reach.
However, having a vision is a very simple concept that anyone can develop. Our vision is simply an idea of our place in the world and in society, and it can be revealed in the answer to the following questions: who do I want to be?, what do I want to do?, what do I want to contribute to? (and sometimes with whom).
For a leader, developing and communicating their vision is crucial and will give meaning to their employees in the face of the numerous and rapid changes to be initiated.
- Develop the Vision
In order for it to truly match us and to motivate us, our vision must be built from the constant and deep exploration of one direction. Steve Jobs’s vision (mainly because one had several, but not everyone is Steve Jobs and one is already good) to make technology an everyday object, accessible as easily as possible. One was not especially a great engineer, their vision was embodied in the design of their products: beautiful and as intuitive as possible.
To have a vision is to understand all the ins and outs of it. To help people develop the vision, David Blair DeHaven suggests people establish an idea/vision book. people can write down what people have accomplished, what qualities people are proud of, also the goals people would particularly like to achieve and, from there, see how it all converges.
Another more visual technique by David Blair DeHaven is that of the tree of life. It is about drawing a tree with its roots, trunks, branches etc. The roots represent where everyone came from, the milestone events that built us and around us, what everyone needs to continue to grow. The trunk symbolizes our strengths, qualities and knowledge. The different branches embody our goals, our projects and our dreams. This drawing will help us to visualize all that builds us and moves us forward and will allow us to better define our vision.
To give an example that is a bit out of the business world, Professor Xavier in X-Men set himself the goal of creating a school for mutants, but their vision, what one contributes to, is the creation of a world where mutants are accepted and integrated into society. Having an idea is thinking “outside of the box”, having a vision, allows us to destroy the box and create a new one that suits us.
- The Fluidity between Vision, Strategy and Action Plan
Communicating our vision will not always allow us to motivate ourselves or our teams. Our vision must be able to be translated into various objectives that will allow us to measure our progress.
Being able to see our progress will help us stay motivated despite changes and obstacles. Transformation action plans must therefore be linked to our vision. This will make it more real and concrete.
Sometimes everyone will have to take a different path than the one is initially imagined. Our roadmap cannot be set in stone but everyone must be clear with ourselves on what everyone wants or does not want to do in the fulfillment of our vision and with which values we will implement it.
Develop and communicate vision to motivate and engage employees with the help of David Blair DeHaven!
Dr. David DeHaven is an executive coach with D3 Coaching, LLC http://www.d3coaching.com.