“Remember, in business, as in life, we reach many peaks. So, it’s critical that we re-establish our visions once we’ve accomplished them.” — Misti Burmeister

My friend Stacey had been working with a new electronics company for about six months when I asked her, “What’s the vision for this product you’re working on?”

“We don’t really have a vision,” Stacey said. She explained that the CEO and another employee had been brainstorming about it for months but had yet to create an “official” vision.

Then, about a year into product development, they hired a new creative director, Anthony. In just two weeks, Anthony created his own vision for the product. He called an all-hands meeting, shared his vision and then explained exactly how each departments’ contributions mattered.

“These guys usually sit in meetings, slumped over, messing with their iPhones … playing Angry Birds,” Stacey told me.  “But ever since that meeting, they look like this …”

She set her iPhone aside, pulled her chair up to the table and started excitedly bouncing her legs. She said, “When I asked a couple of the guys why they couldn’t sit still, they said they were excited to get back to work.”

Ready to elicit this excitement and enthusiasm in your team? It doesn’t matter if you’re not the CEO. A vision is critical when leading any team – even a small one.

Consider the following when crafting your vision:

  1. Do your homework. Before Anthony could create something exciting to aim for, he had to understand what each team was doing and why.
  2. Go big. An exciting vision must be something that will not only make money, but also capture and retain their attention and devotion.
  3. Acknowledge. People don’t trust change – unless they understand why. To get his team on board, Anthony had to acknowledge where they’ve been and help them visualize where they could go.
  4. Electrify. The most clearly-articulated vision means nothing if it doesn’t truly excite its creator. If Anthony hadn’t cared about these people and the product, his team would have sensed that, and it’s unlikely they would have been excited. On the other hand, leaders who are genuinely passionate about what they’ve set out to achieve have a contagious positive energy. What’s your energy like?
  5. Reinforce. One inspiring meeting would not have kept their attention long-term. According to Stacey, Anthony continually communicates and reinforces his vision, both with new and existing employees.

More than 25,000 people risk their lives each year attempting to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro? There are countless reasons people climb, but it usually boils down to the desire to achieve something great – something they’ll always remember.

By clearly defining his vision for the product (or “the summit”) and tapping into the passions of his team members, Anthony captured the attention of hundreds of talented people.

Have you identified your summit? Remember, in business, as in life, we reach many peaks. So, it’s critical that we re-establish our visions once we’ve accomplished them … that is, after we’ve celebrated!

Keeping it simple,

Misti Burmeister, best-selling author of From Boomers to Bloggers: Success Strategies Across Generations and Hidden Heroes