“You can buy a person’s time; you can buy their physical presence at a given place; you can even buy a measured number of their skilled muscular motions per hour. But you cannot buy enthusiasm… you cannot buy loyalty. You cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds, or souls. You must earn these.” Clarence Francis
Vision is not something one gets from polling focus groups. While you need consensus, you cannot and should not try to determine vision by consensus. It is not something that you devise by asking around what others think. Businesses, organizations, and companies are run badly when they are run with multiple heads. Even corporations have a CEO, churches have a pastor or priest, and organizations have a director. True enough, they do not act in isolation, at least the successful and most effective ones don’t.
However, leadership is primarily a singular responsibility that manifests itself through multiple outlets. There needs to be one voice and all who speak in positions of authority need to speak as one. Successful military campaigns are devised and managed by a commanding officer. But under him are multiple other layers of leadership. All of them have bought in to the objective and are duty bound and honor bound to make sure the vision is fulfilled, the mission is completed, the objective is reached.
But you will want to know what others do think, not to decide on what you should do but so you know what needs to be done, what powers of persuasion will be needed to inspire and motivate your team to get on board with the vision.
Effective leaders begin where the people they lead are not where it is that they want them to be. You are indeed heading somewhere. But every journey begins somewhere else.
And that’s where you come in as leader. You stand up top in a position of responsibility. But you stand out front in a position of visibility (See illustration #2).
You do need to gain consensus and that requires skill on your part as leader – powers of persuasion and inspiration.Vision comes from your but it must spread to others. Don’t even think about mandate or edict. Simply ordering people to embrace the vision never works. You lead. You do not push, harangue, or shove.