Inspiring vision, part 4: Show there is a problem

Man attempting to pull a cabin out of a lake where it has fallen through the iceThe fourth ingredient for creating an inspiring vision is to show people that they have a problem.

In a time of change, people are likely to be feeling uncertain, nervous, or even afraid. This is likely to make them reluctant to pursue new directions.

Being clear about why continuing with things as they are is a problem can provide the motivation people need to change behaviour and start doing something new. After all, if there’s no problem there’s no need to change.

As Jack Welch used to say when he was CEO of General Electric:

“Face reality as it is, not as it was, or as you wish it to be.”

Remember that people who are nervous can react in unpredictable ways, so be sure to do this in a way that inspires them rather than scaring them.

The more clearly you can show your audience how they have a problem that they need to address, the more inspired and energised they will be to follow your solution.

Are trying to get people to change behaviour? Do they understand that they have a problem if they continue as they are? What problem will you have if you continue as you are? What do you need to change?

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

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Photo By PJ Nelson via

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