engagement with your vision
October 30, 2020

Emotions are key to achieving engagement with your vision (part 2)

By Paul Laughlin

This post concludes a two-part series of posts on how emotions are key to achieving engagement with your vision.

In part one, guest blogger, Tony Boobier explained why even business visions need to be personal. He also shared the emotional engagement that created a clear vision for him. This built upon his earlier posts making a case for more discernment and an embracing of uncertainty.

Now, back to Tony to continue explaining why emotions help engage your team or stakeholders with a personal vision…

Defining emotional engagement

Emotional engagement is something that: 

  • Helps us go that extra mile towards attaining our vision 
  • Makes us encourage our followers by giving them ‘purpose’ 
  • Provides integrity to our leadership 

Even so, the best leaders have another important element, that of ‘emotional intelligence’. We describe this as being a degree of inner awareness which helps prevent our decision-making from being overrun by excessive emotion. Emotional intelligence provides an essential internal control mechanism that makes sure that our head isn’t completely ruled by our heart. 

Achieving engagement with simplicity

The concept of a ‘vision’ or purpose should have a degree of clarity and simplicity about it. This simplicity has, for both a leader and their team, an important impact in that it also represents a shift in mindset. Does it move the problem of implementation from ‘How is it possible do this?’ towards ‘What is stopping us from doing this’?  

As a result, an effective vision should and can be able to be easily communicated. The message is readily and simply conveyed and at its best should be, to some degree, self-explanatory. 

How do you talk about your vision?

When someone has a true vision, the way they talk about it is different. At its best, the vision will be unifying and the entire team will buy into it. But we shouldn’t necessarily assume that to be the case. Politicians sometimes present their vision of the future but are often faced with scepticism. Leaders may also run of the risk of missing the mark completely if that vision is thought to be impossible to reach or unrealistic.

Of course, how the vision is practically attained may be a little more complicated. Implementation is never a straightforward process, and stakeholders usually have different interests.

It may require engaging with people who don’t necessarily share the vision but are willing to play a part in contributing to its success. Their own vision or motive may be quite different from that of the leader. We might see that in the case of an outsourcing process. 

Does your vision pull people forwards?

It’s important also that we distinguish attaining a ‘vision’ from being ‘successful’. Success is simply that expression that we give to attaining a set of targets. These targets may not be necessarily directly linked to a vision – although it is hoped that most performance management targets are aligned in some way.

So at the end of the day, how important is the concept of having a vision? 

Let’s leave the final word with Steve Jobs.

“If you are working on something you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”

Steve Jobs, Apple

How are you achieving engagement with your vision?

Thanks for sharing your experience, Tony. What about you dear readers? How are you engaging your team & wider stakeholders with your vision? Are you achieving emotional engagement with your vision?

If you have practical experience and lessons learnt to share on this topic, please get in touch. I hope the posts I’ve shared on this topic help you have a clear & motivating vision for your team for years to come.