Can Your Leaders Articulate Your Vision and Mission?

Can Your Leaders Articulate Your Vision and Mission?
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Employees Expect Leaders to Set a Clear Direction
Done right, an organization’s vision and mission should provide focus, direction, and coherence to all internal and external stakeholders. Done wrong, they waste time, fuel hypocrisy, and create disengagement and misalignment.

A meaningful company mission, the organization’s fundamental purpose, helps to create employee commitment and drive peak performance.  Understanding “the greater reason why” your organization exists is a critical ingredient of a high performance culture. It is a leader’s role to articulate and stand behind the company’s vision and mission in a way that is clear, emotional, and aligned.

Can your leaders articulate your vision and mission in a compelling way?

When the high meaning and high purpose are understood and adopted by the work force as a whole, the organization is prepped to fire on all cylinders.

Some Leaders Are Better than Others
Some leaders have the skills to clearly convey a vision and inspire a mission-driven purpose in their employees; some don’t. Some leaders are gifted communicators and are confident that their future vision can be realized; some are not.

What May Be Holding Your Leaders Back
If your leaders struggle to articulate a compelling future vision and how each employee will contribute, here is what might be holding them back.

  • A Pessimistic Outlook
    If leaders don’t believe that the vision and mission can be accomplished, how can you expect employees to buy into it? Leaders need to determine if the aspirations and fundamental purpose are an unrealistic overreach. Does the organization have the capabilities, confidence, resources, motivation, and plans to achieve it?

    If not, you have more work to do with the leadership team in clarifying your strategy so that you can fully lead and support it. 
  • Overcomplication
    The essence of an effective vision and mission statement is its simplicity. Look at Google’s for instance: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. The language is clear, succinct, purposeful, and inspiring.

    If your vision or mission is too obscure to be easily understood, work with leaders to pare it down to its bare essence.
  • Lack of Passion
    Effective leaders believe in their mission passionately and are able to inspire their followers to dedicate both hearts and minds to the effort. Don’t underestimate the role emotion plays in persuasion. Help leaders express their authentic excitement and enthusiasm for the importance of what your company stands for.

    It is important to give your employees a strong sense of the value of their contribution to the vision and the proportionate rewards for realizing it.
  • Lack of Follow-through
    Effective communication of the vision and mission is just the beginning. Tenacity and perseverance are now required. Work with leaders to reiterate the company’s purpose regularly to keep focused on what matters and hold employees and leaders accountable for pulling in the right direction.

    Implementation is in their hands, but it is the leader who must guide it.
  • Lack of Need
    While strategy consultants may tell you otherwise, not all companies are vision- or mission-driven, and not all employees need those strategic divers to be successful. Sometimes, companies just need to get aligned regarding goals, roles, processes, and capabilities. If this is the case, leaders may be rightfully focused on the strategies and tactics required to meet objective targets.

    Make sure leaders know what is required to create the right kind of focus, direction, and coherence to succeed for your unique situation.

The Bottom Line
Meaningful goals must be well understood, achievable, inspiring, and worth the effort. Once strategy retreat facilitation has been completed, do your leaders know how to articulate company goals in a way that brings employees together with purpose, focus, and emotional energy?

To learn what to do next to help leaders articulate your vision and mission, download One Page Strategy Communication Map Examples

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