In a time of churning, your ability to create an inspiring vision will draw people to join your project, stick with it, and deliver better results.
There is no fixed template for how to do this. No two inspiring leaders are the same. But just as every great painting is formed from the same basic colours, and every great piece of music comes from the same basic notes, so every great vision is formed from the same seven building blocks, combined and arranged in different ways.
The first of these blocks is to speak with your own authentic voice.
This makes sense because it is the only voice you will be able to maintain consistently as you move forward through this time of churning. And if you have chosen a direction that aligns best with what is most important to you, people will hear that if you share it authentically. Your words will resonate with those who share similar or overlapping goals and ambitions, and you will attract to you the very people you want most: the people who will join you for the long haul, your tribe.
Even if there are difficulties, it is better to acknowledge these authentically up front. Then show how they don’t matter in the light of something more important. Four hundred years ago, for example, a country came under threat from invasion. The leader at the time was a woman in a man’s world: many of her own people thought she was not up to the job, simply because she was a woman. Some had even attempted to kill her.
With failing support at home, and a larger threat about to arrive from abroad, Queen Elizabeth I faced the situation full on. Surrounded by her assembled army of heavily armed men, she spoke clearly and authentically what became her most famous words:
“I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too.”
Her authenticity won her audience over.
And once they had decided to listen to her, then they listened to what she had to say. And only then did they do what needed to be done.
So, create a vision first of all that is true to you, that matters to you, that inspires you. Don’t include anything in it just because you think you should do. And don’t leave out anything you think matters, just because it doesn’t seem to be on the list of seven building blocks.
Your vision will become the most inspiring when it comes authentically from you.
Adapted from Inner Leadership.