What does the ‘promised land’ look like?

“And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

You can hear the passion in his voice, even when simply reading the quote in your head. It’s emotive, aspirational and probably nothing like the content of what was said in your last all-staff meeting, but the difference between being a boss and being a true leader comes down to this ability to create the vision and then motivate everyone to work every day in order to achieve it.

Seeing the promised land

When defining the vision for your organisation, you have to put some thought into what will motivate your team enough to help deliver it. A cold financial target is unlikely to do that, but a vision where everyone can definitively see a clear benefit for themselves as well as the organisation will improve the likelihood of you reaching that “promised land”. The vision can be hugely ambitious, but as long as there is a map of how you are going to get there, your team will follow you on the journey. The vision does not have to be glib or be a corporate cliché either. For example, Honda’s vision in the 1970s was simply: “We will destroy Yamaha.” It’s a clear statement of intent that everyone at every level, could get behind.

Reaching the promised land

So how do you get there? Every aspect of your organisation should be closely examined with the vision in mind. Do you recruit the type of people who are going to get you there? If not, why not? Where are they and how do you get them? Do customers trust your brand enough to allow you to support that growth? If not, how are you going to change that? Are your IT systems and internal communications and processes fit-for-purpose? How are they going to cope with the journey to your promised land? Are your managers adequately trained to provide the leadership necessary to fulfil your vision?

Many of these changes will be painful to achieve and there are few quick solutions, but that’s why it is too difficult for most. Every day the organisation needs to move closer to that vision and be reminded why it is doing so. It’s long, slow and hard work that needs constant oversight, but that’s what the leader does – keeps everyone focused on the promised land.

Good luck on your journey.

To find out how St Andrews Consulting could help you become a true leader and drive your business towards the promised land, contact us today.

Image credit: Rainbow by Andreas Krispler licensed under Creative commons 6