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“Without vision, the people perish.” After widespread downsizing efforts in the 1980s, this proverb took on central importance in the business world. But there’s more to the concept of vision than meets the eye. “Vision isn’t just about helping people see the ‘big picture,'” says Lawrence R. Banks III, an East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania-based Amway distributor. “It’s also about getting them to follow the necessary steps to turn abstract goals into tangible results.”
So, how do you get your staff to embrace your vision? The following hints may help to close the gap between your company’s vision and the way your employees see things:
- Develop trust. “Others won’t want to see your vision if they don’t trust you,” says Banks. To your employees, your goals are an extension of you. If they don’t feel you’re being straight with them, they’ll place less stock in anything you envision. If you don’t already, make an effort to be consistently honest in your dealings with colleagues.
- Find out what’s important to your employees. A true vision should speak to the needs of everyone in the organization. People are more likely to work towards an objective when they help create it and perceive personal benefit from its realization. Find out what element of your vision will also help your staff accomplish their personal goals,” says Banks.
- “Enforce” the vision. In other words, put it into practice. Sum it up as part of your mission statement, and point to it whenever a question is raised as to why a particular action is being taken. Make the vision the measuring stick for every business decision made in your company.