the results

Alex: Can your vision be TOO big?

So this is an unusual one for me! You know I love a big vision, so for me to say that a vision can be too big takes some doing!

I had this realisation in the last few months working with a senior leader in a big organisation. He has fantastic energy and is always enthusiastically moving the business forward. You can't fault his energy or his conviction, and yet..

His vision and ideas are SO big that those around him are left thinking he is a little crazy!

You see there is no point having a vision that is so big no-one else can buy into it. So what could he do better?

Well in my experience, when leaders lose their team along the way with regard to vision, strategy and direction, it's because they aren't spending enough time taking them on the journey as to how that vision will be realised, and what they benefit is - in short they haven't nailed their communication, so their audience isn't buying in.

So here are my tips for getting buy-in to your BIG vision:

1. It's cool to having something totally aspirational - as long as you paint the picture and bring it to life for your audience. What's in it for them? Why would they get excited by this?

2. Once you have painted the picture, you need to divulge a bit of the 'how'. This doesn't mean diving into too much detail, but you do need to give some context as to how you are going to achieve this. A great way to do this is to 'reverse engineer' the vision. What are the obstacles that will prevent you from getting there? What are the strategies you could put in place to overcome
those obstacles? This starts to add some real thinking to your blueprint

3. Finally, you need to add in some actions - what are the three things you and your team are going to do too in the next quarter to realise that vision? What is the first step? This starts to ground your vision in reality.

4. My final tip - stop chasing shiny balls. Of course your vision will evolve over time, but the more you change your overarching vision, the more cynical and tired your team will get – they'll think you don't know where you are going or what you want to do - and they are probably right.

So back to my senior leader in this example:

We went back to basics – even though he was really resistant at first because he thought I was trying to make him 'think small'. But after a few sessions he conceded that what he was doing wasn't working. He just wasn't connecting with his audience or getting the buy-in he needed.

We tightened up his vision. We got his message really clear. We designed it from the perspective of his audience – what were they going to be excited by?

And, we made it really simple – instead of a convoluted and wordy mish mash – then laid it out and made some next steps, plus a clear definition for success. Result? We did make his vision smaller in a way, but way more impactful. He is now on a really great path to bringing everyone on board and really listening to his plans.

So try this for yourself and break down that big, crazy vision!

Alex
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