Great leaders know the value and power of their words. They know that sharing a well-honed vision can change a person, a team and ultimately an organisation.
And with London Mayoral Elections not until next year, candidates are already announcing their intention to stand. These include ex-footballer Sol Campbell and Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith.
The ex-Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur defender said he could “bring something new to the table” as the Conservative nomination. He said he wanted to “change London for everybody” but felt he would not be a “frontrunner”.
Transport, housing, policing, the environment and High Streets will be some of the issues that Zac Goldsmith’s campaign will focus on.
But whoever the mayoral candidates are, when we define our vision and communicate it effectively, be it in business or politics, people see the big picture and how they can contribute to it.
People want to work for more than a salary – to be part of something larger than themselves – something to be proud of, that they will fight for and that they trust.
Here are 5 top tips for conveying your vision as a leader:-
1. Own it
Winston Churchill once said, “Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe.”
Your passion and conviction will be far more compelling that your words. The first person who should be excited about your vision is YOU!
2. Appeal to people’s hearts
The ancient Chinese said human “will” is like a cart being pulled by two horses: the “mind” and the “emotions.” In order to pull the cart forward, both horses have to be pulling the cart in the same direction.
Engage people’s hearts by giving them a reason to care about your vision.
3. Idea for the mind, picture for the heart
If your vision isn’t clear, the mist in your mind will eventually become the fog in your organisation.
People think and remember in pictures. To drive your vision home, give people an idea for the mind and a picture for the heart.
Tell them about your customers and clients, like the old age pensioner whose day will be made a great one is she only receives that extra little bit of service.
4. Eyes on the prize
What do you hope to accomplish?
What are your expectations of the team?
Decide which values, beliefs, actions and behaviours will be necessary for your group to deliver the results that you want, and then communicate these clearly to your team.
5. Include clear actions
One defining characteristic of good leaders is that they know where they are going and have a plan to get themselves and their people there.
Although thoughts and ideas are important, you must give people something to do if they are going to take ownership of the vision, and have more than just a passing interest in it.
So what is the first step – the one thing your team can do NOW in order to move the organisation towards your goals, and how can you clear the path for them to get started?
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