The legendary Vince Lombardi once said, “Coaches who can outline plays on a blackboard are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their players and motivate.”
This nugget of locker-room leadership applies to the boardroom too. As a business owner, you can have a compelling vision and solid strategy for growth, but unless your employees enthusiastically buy in to that vision, it won’t get far off the ground.
Invest Time In Galvanizing the Group
Ultimately, you want to roll out your vision and have your people embrace it with a hearty, “Yes, that’s my vision, too.” This is why, long before the staff meeting is scheduled and the PowerPoint is made, you must engage all levels of your company, in the vision planning process.
Merely instructing your team will not mobilize their genuine support. Everyone wants to be given a meaningful opportunity to collaborate; they want to know that their input is heard, valued, and that they have a part in shaping the final vision. This empowerment will result in their commitment.
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Give the balance of input to your partners and fellow owners, followed by managers and then staff. The reason for this is that once you have buy-in from your top people, they will help sell your message and galvanize the rest of the group to accomplish the goal. This is called pre-alignment.
The Pre-Alignment Checklist For Business Managers & Owners
Collecting input from all stakeholders takes time and patience, and it’s essential that you approach the vision planning process with an open mind.
Be receptive to feedback from everyone who has a stake in the vision, and who will influence its success. This means:
- Clearly explaining the connection between your vision and the process necessary to execute it
- Describing in detail the ways growth will benefit the company and its employees (e.g., greater net worth and profit, stronger brand, new business relationships, a more advanced workplace culture, etc.)
- Showing employees how they will influence the process and impact its execution and success, and
- Demonstrating flexibility by incorporating others’ ideas into the vision so that it reflects the wants, needs and aspirations of those who will be carrying it out.
Most importantly, explain why it’s important for the business to have a vision. Even though you know it’s to bring focus to the company, and to help guide major decisions and to better articulate future goals, your people need to hear this from you and understand why you believe it so passionately.
Invest Time In Planning For Each Person
If you are a growth company trying to expand, you want your people to grow along with you.
Implement personalized growth plans for each employee, and have their managers explain to them in detail how their roles and responsibilities could change.
Motivate each employee to grown in to his or her new role by talking and listening on a one-to-one basis. Explain where you see the company moving, how it will benefit everyone and how it impacts their unique role.
Will growth mean that employee needs to become more specialized? Does that require more training or education? What can your employee do to help get to the next level? Listen to his or her concerns, ideas and ambitions.
Once again, not only will collaborating help motivate your people to get on board, it will ensure they own their place in your company’s future.