Inspiring vision, part 3: make sure people choose

Yes or No

In a time of change, your ability to create an inspiring vision will draw people to your project and motivate them to deliver results.

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

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

It might seem to make sense to push everyone to say yes. But if you steamroller people into joining you then every time an issue arises you will need to convince them all over again.

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.

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

“This is where we are going. If you don’t like it, get out of the stock.”

They know that investors who are not committed to travelling the same path will be a drain on their time and energy. The same can apply 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 that you inspire people to choosefor their own reasons, to travel with you through an imperfect world, the more you build a team that actively works with you to find the opportunities in the problems that arise, rather than questioning every step of the way.

So make sure they choose.

In your own work, does the level of motivation you bring show that you are on the bus, off the bus, or not sure? What about the people you work with? Do you want to change that? How could you achieve 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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