To be a leader capable of providing vision for an organisation, it is important to keep an eye firmly fixed on the future at all times. The famous former football manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who coached Manchester United to over 20 years of success, explained that the morning after his team had won a trophy, he immediately began planning for the next campaign.
But how do you engender the same forward thinking in your team? In this article, we look at some key considerations pertaining to long term vision.
Do they know where you want to be?
It is vital that you ring fence some time to map out your long term vision to your team. It won’t just take one presentation – this is something which you should be repeating in weekly and monthly meetings, and ideally record in a document which can be shared with all your team. You cannot over-communicate about your vision.
It’s good to talk
In both team meetings and one on ones, you have the chance to project what you see as the future to the members of your team. And it should be a two-way conversation; ask your team to challenge anything which they do not understand, and to offer their own input at appropriate junctures. It is accepted wisdom that ‘thoughts are things’ but a plan without action is just a dream, so make sure you are constantly communicating your long term vision to your team. There is nothing wrong with thinking out loud, getting and acting on the feedback!
Is that in line with where they see the future?
It is all very well having a long term vision as a CEO, but if this isn’t in tune with where your team sees its own future, you may end up with a disjointed strategy. For this reason, it makes sense to constantly gauge your team’s own ambitions and long term goals, so you can tap into what they really want. Once you know that, you can revisit your own vision and tweak it accordingly, ensuring it ‘hits the right note’.
So those are some tips regarding leadership, teams and long term visions – remember, communication is always key!