The Importance Of Vision In Leadership

What is “vision”?  Simply put, it’s the common alignment of a group of people aiming for the same goal.  Whether it’s sports or business, having a vision is the single most important thing to motivate a team of individuals.  Without it, you have chaos and you can’t possibly succeed.

What I enjoy so much about the digital media business is the larger vision that’s constantly on display around us, which creates a sense of excitement and motivation for those of us in the biz.  This is the reason companies like Apple and Google do so well – because they craft a future vision that’s just the right mix of attainability and overly optimistic enthusiasm.   When Apple holds its WWDC, trotting out people like Jimmy Iovine and Drake alongside Tim Cook, you see the company can create a goal and see it through to an end, whether an artistic vision or one that’s more business-oriented.  

Without a clear direction to run and an idea of what the finish line looks like, you never know how far you are on the path that you’ve chosen.  To use a sports analogy, imagine what it would be like to run a marathon and not know it’s a little more than 26 miles?   There’s no more less motivating situation in the world than being told to run and having someone say, “I’ll tell you when to stop.”. Not knowing is torture.  You can’t succeed when you have no idea what is expected of you.  Having a vision enables expectations, and you can know how you should be planning out your journey.  The cliché often used is “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” — but if you don’t know the distance, how can you possibly pace to achieve the goal of finishing, much less winning, the race?



When you take on a new team, and even when you’re evaluating whether to make a professional change, you should always start with the vision.  Establish a clear set of goals and a vision that can motivate the team to be able to meet those goals.  Letting your team know how their work will fit into the larger vision for the company, or the industry as a whole, is one of the strongest motivators you can ever use.  We all know money is a strong motivator, but vision is equally important because without it, you never coax out that extra percent from your team to achieve and maybe even surpass the goals you lay out for them.  

Another strong motivator is involvement from the team in determining how they will meet and/or exceed the goals within that vision.  Having involvement creates a sense of ownership.  Conversely, a strong de-motivator is laying out goals that the team feels are unattainable, since at least some team members will conclude, “Why bother?”

A vision is probably the most important thing you can establish, so never overlook it and never short change it as a worthwhile investment of your time.  If you can’t clearly convey a vision, then sit back, take a breath and figure one out.  Without it, chaos will reign and your team will burn out before their prime.

Next story loading loading..