As a leader of your organization or team (or even your family), with one foot into the New Year, it may already be time re-tool your vision for your team – the culture of it, and long-term 3-5 years out – yes. But when it comes to THIS year and your vision for the members of THIS team, here is where there is some urgency to clarifying it with details that fill your senses – and those of your team.

The vision of this “season” (whether you view this as Q1 of the year, this semester, year, or work project timeframe) when you craft it in living color and cast with your team, it is going to be compelling. It will allow your team members to close their eyes and imagine every detail of the vision that you share with them. They will be able to see themselves and you and their colleagues (or teammates) as the characters on the main stage of this vision. As you share the details in living color of what it will BE like when the vision for THIS “season” is a reality, they will be able feel it.

Oftentimes athletics provides a natural connection and metaphor to aspects of business and real life. With that in mind, if you were a coach of a college athletic team, and your vision is to “Go to Nationals,” and you cast that in details now and consistently through the upcoming season, prepare to go to the National Tournament and play one game. Prepare to enjoy the experience you have all focused on envisioning to “Go to Nationals.”

Yet if you were a college athletic coach, would that REALLY be the vision you possess? Is that the exact desired destination that you want to lead your team to? What if simply “Going to the National Tournament” isn’t the extent of your vision? What if you truly desire to take 1st place in the National Tournament? What will taking “1st Place in the National Tournament” be like? What will reaching for that vision feel like along the way – from today, with each opponent and obstacle before the team? What type of individual focus and discipline (from studies, food, sleep, and grit in team practices and individual workouts) will it require to play through the last game of the tournament….the Championship Game…and WIN the National Tournament?

If you stick with the athletic team analogy or consider leading in business, the thought process and planning as a coach or CEO or department manager are very similar. The vision you craft and that your team speaks into in small ways and that they embrace IS much like the GPS for your team this “season.” Do you have the correct coordinates for where you TRULY want to lead them?

Your vision is like a GPS in that when you cast it the first time, and recast it through the “season” in various ways, it will provide the team:
G = Guidance
P = Performance and
S = Satisfaction, as they all work together to get to the envisioned endgame of where you are leading them.

I believe a coach (or leader) must know the realities and capabilities of his or her team – individually and collectively. He or she must also know the realities and capabilities of his competition. And then he or she must tap into the HOPE, PASSION, BELIEF, and the ideals of “What Could Be” with this particular team.

In business, when companies in your industry reach the top (as measured through profits, volume, culture surveys, awards, etc.) it takes a special company to move beyond its competitors and reach the number one place and maintain its market share. If your vision as a leader is to “Get to the top group” (or as a coach to “Get to Nationals”) and you cast that with clarity and consistency and it is detailed and compelling enough that your team buys into it and prepares daily and weekly to make that vision happen – the odds are very strong that your vision for your team, group, or company will occur.

However, if you envision more for your team than just “Getting to Nationals,” now is the time to steal away and craft that vision in detail. What, exactly, is your desired destination for your team, group, or company? Time is of the essence to work this into a picture and story of what THIS team will BE like in its daily and weekly endeavors (the right business recurring behaviors). There is a sense of urgency as a leader to break away now and write this vision and reflect on it and revise it and cast it to your team.

Crafting and casting very clear and compelling visions are usually exceedingly challenging endeavors for leaders. However, when you keep the GPS analogy in mind – you know that without the precisely correct coordinates plugged in, you won’t arrive at your desired destination with the team you are leading.

Who do you have in your life you can share your written draft of your vision for your business, team, department, etc.? You may gain traction and momentum as you develop your vision by having someone ask the right questions to help you articulate the envisioned endgame you have in your heart for your team, group, or company for this “season.”

You may find it helpful to connect with a personal/business coach (a “leader’s coach”) to have a call to strategically plan your vision-casting with your team. Casting vision with a team, group, family, department, or company is much like effective change management – to execute it effectively deserves and requires strategic and tactical planning.

Be sure you have the right coordinates plugged in to your business/team/department GPS. And be sure every team member knows the desired destination! Then your team can enjoy working together to get there.

By Dr. Heidi Scott, ICF Certified Coach – Coaching leaders how to improve the performance of their teams