Inspiring vision, part 3: make sure people choose

Yes or No

In a time of change, your ability to create an inspiring vision is essential for drawing people to your project and motivating them to deliver results.

There is no fixed template for how to do this. But every inspiring vision is formed from the same basic ingredients or building blocks.

The third of these is to ask your audience to make a choice: will they support you?

At this point it might seem to make sense to push everyone to say, “Yes.” But the more you steamroller people into supporting you the more you will need to convince them all over again, every time an issue arises. (And in a time of change there will be many issues…)

Better to share your inspiring vision and then let each person make up their own mind. If they decide “Yes” then you can count on their committed support. If they say “No” then that is one less distraction for you.

The CEOs of Unilever and Apple both understand this. In recent years both have effectively said to shareholders:

“This is where we are going. If you don’t like it, sell your stock.”

They know that investors who are not committed to travelling the same path as them will be a drain on their time and energy. The same applies to employees, customers, or anybody else whose support you need. Are they on the bus or off the bus? Will they lead, follow, or get out of the way?

The more you inspire people to choose, for their own reasons, to travel with you through an imperfect, churning world, the more you will build a team that actively works with you to find the opportunities in every problem that arises, instead of questioning each step of the way.

How committed are you to the work you do? Are you on the bus, off the bus, or not sure? What about the people you work with: how enthusiastic and committed are they? Do you want to change any of that?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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Photo By Quinn Dombrowski via

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