Dear CEO, How Well Are You Communicating Your Vision To Your People?

Dear CEO, How Well Are You Communicating Your Vision To Your People?

What is your vision?

Without a vision, where are you going?

How will you lead?

Some years ago, when I was working as a productivity consultant, I was running a development program for a group of executive leaders in a global water engineering company. I distinctly remember a conversation I had with a leader who was challenged to balance their workload into the available hours.

He said to me, “My problem is my boss doesn’t understand my priorities.”

Now the thing is, the boss was the CEO. I was absolutely perplexed that the CEO and this executive, who reported directly to him, were not on the same page about what the priorities were for their organisation.

When I delved into it, it became clear the CEO had not clearly communicated a vision for where the organisation was going. Had not identified what was strategically important, what needed focus now, and what could wait until later.

This lack of communication of the vision was showing up in how individuals were executing their roles. Different members of the executive team had differing agendas. They were not at all aligned.

What this highlighted was the challenge to be productive when there is no clarity about where you are going.

Yet, what I discovered was the CEO did have a fairly clear vision for themselves. They just had not shared it. Without a shared big vision, everybody else was operating in an information vacuum. They had no guideposts, they had nothing to opt into, and they were not engaged.

The other thing that became very apparent is there was a pattern of senior executives and their direct reports leaving the organisation. This was a problem causing significant impact throughout the organisation, including a poor message to the rest of the community about the long-term state of the organisation.

It all stemmed back to the fact that the CEO had not shared their vision and certainly had not included other people in the development of the vision.

Instead of a big vision, there was a big gap.

Without a clear and shared vision, nobody around you may understand what to focus on. This leads to disorganisation from a lack of shared agenda, and to reduced engagement. Leading to declining productivity, performance, and organisational outcomes.

Your people have nothing to cling to. No purpose. And people want purpose now more than ever. The great re-evaluation has seen to this.

Even when you have people staying within your organisation, rather than leaving, they will not be nearly as productive or effective than if you had shared a clear vision about now and the future with them.

“In the long run, men hit only what they aim at.” 

Henry David Thoreau

Time to reflect:

➥ What is the state of your vision for your organisation and for your people?
➥ How well have you shared the big vision with your people?
➥ What is the opportunity for you here?

I’d love to know your thoughts.

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