Why Great Leaders Focus on Vision
By Jacob Espinoza
Most of us understand the value of focusing on the vision and “Starting with Why,” but it’s easy to skip this step when we are stressed.
As we move from meeting to meeting and problem to problem, we become focused on only what feels immediately urgent.
Time is money! So we tell people what to do because it fixes the problem quickly so that we can move on to the next thing.
But the ‘what’ is a bandaid. Telling people how to do their job won’t create leaders in your organization and will lead to employees becoming disengaged in their work. (Disengaged employees are less productive, more likely to call in sick, and will eventually quit.)
Your role as a leader is to focus on and communicate the vision of the company.
Your team should understand why the company’s work is important AND why their role is crucial for the success of the group.
Finding ways to consistently connect the actions of today to the future of an organization is a common trait among all inspirational leaders.
Your role as a leader is to help your team understand how their actions will lead to a better tomorrow.
Talking about vision inspires change and helps keep your team aligned.
It also allows for employees to be empowered and become problem solvers.
A lot of founders tell me this, “My team can’t get anything done without me.”
This is a consequence of focusing on the specifics of the work instead of the vision.
When employees understand why their work is important, they are more likely to be engaged in their work and are able to problem solve.
When problems arise, like they always do, understanding the goal of a project will allow yoru team to make strategic decisions and adjustments.
Imagine your team telling you, “Well we had a few problems, but here is why we made the adjustments we made.”
This is just one example of how reinforcing the vision will help you become a great leader.
Focus on the vision!
Bosses significantly impact the lives of every person on their team.
In the best-case scenario, we become the boss who lifts the people on our team and helps them feel more confident in their abilities.
Great bosses get to know their people and are flexible with schedules because they understand their teams have lives outside of work.
Your teammates’ energy when they leave the office, or log off for the day, is the same energy they bring to dinner with their families and into their communities.
Make it a priority for everyone on your team to hold their head up a little higher while they eat with their families because of the respect and gratitude they get at work.
When we make our people feel small, they act small.
If you want to keep your best people, find ways to invest in the things most important to them.
- Put them in positions to be successful
- Encourage them to do more of the things they find fulfilling
- Make sure they get off on time to take their kids to soccer practice
- Find ways to leverage your network to provide them with incredible experiences
You can only do these things after you’ve taken the time to listen and understand the people on your team.
See past their actions and get to know their values and beliefs. Get curious about their background and take time to understand the life experiences that created these values.
The most underrated four words in the English language are, “I believe in you.”
Use these words often. Let your team know you see their potential, and then ask them how you can help support them.
This approach may be out of your comfort zone. But they are also the actions of a boss who never has to worry about having unfilled positions in their organization.