Authenticity & Core Values
Authenticity in the leadership and the workplace has gotten a lot of attention recently. Most of us would agree that being authentic is a highly desirable trait in our leaders, but it can be really difficult to understand what authenticity truly means and how to go about practicing it in our day-to-day activities leading others. A working definition of authenticity that I like to use is simply, "having your words and actions match each other and the ideals you believe in." Making decisions and taking actions that are in line with the ideals that guide you, as well as the ideals that guide your organization, can build a foundation of trust that will be noticed and appreciated by your team.

Authenticity & Core Values

Authenticity in leadership and the workplace has gotten a lot of attention recently. Most of us would agree that being authentic is a highly desirable trait in our leaders, but it can be really difficult to understand what authenticity truly means and how to go about practicing it in our day-to-day activities leading others. A working definition of authenticity that I like to use is simply, “having your words and actions match each other and the ideals you believe in.” Making decisions and taking actions that are in line with the ideals that guide you, as well as the ideals that guide your organization, can build a foundation of trust that will be noticed and appreciated by your team.

Authenticity through Core Values

One practical way to get your words and actions to match is to clearly articulate and practice your core values. You may work for an organization that has clearly defined core values expected in the workplace, but it’s a good idea to get really clear on your own personal core values and let those be your guide to developing your leadership philosophy and style. There are a lot of examples of core values, some common ones are:

  • Integrity
  • Loyalty
  • Respect
  • Service
  • Excellence

These are all great examples, but as you reflect on your core values you’ll find that they will be easier to live to every day if they are based on the ideals that are closest to you, so try to choose 3 or 4 of these core values that are most important to you and really clearly articulate what they mean to you. Having a solid definition in your mind will help guide your decisions and actions to be consistent with these core values

Practicing Core Values

Authenticity comes from not just defining and communicating your core values, but from practicing them in your daily activities. A leader who has a core value of respect, but then insults or belittles members of the team is not practicing that core value and will ultimately not be viewed as authentic when it comes to respect. As leaders, we are judged by others on the values we practice, so taking some time to connect with ourselves on our strongest beliefs will help us be better leaders to those who follow us.

Most of us agree that having a strong network is critical to success, but many of us don’t really like the idea of networking. It often comes with a negative or self-serving connotation. When it comes to networking, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to relax and simply treat networking as a way to build and maintain strong relationships with amazing people that we want to have in our lives. A great tool you can use to assess who you have strong relationships with and who you would like to have stronger relationships with is a network map that visually presents those relationships for you.

Network Map – 5 Steps to Creating Yours

Most of us agree that having a strong network is critical to success, but many of us don’t really like the idea of networking. It often comes with a negative or self-serving connotation. When it comes to networking, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to relax and simply treat networking as a way to build and maintain strong relationships with amazing people that we want to have in our lives.  A great tool you can use to assess who you have strong relationships with and who you would like to have stronger relationships with is a network map that visually presents those relationships for you.

Trying to capture your relationships in a visual format like a network map can seem overwhelming. Here are the steps I took to create my network map and have found it to be pretty effective so far. The illustrations are simplified to make it clear and easy to view, but when you sit down to put yours together you’ll find that it can get rather busy on the screen pretty quickly. You can do this with a sheet of paper and a pen, but I recommend using a graphics tool on a computer, tablet or phone because you will find that you’ll want to move things around and adjust them as you work through building your network map.

Assess Your Life Aspects

 

The first step is to assess the main aspects of your life that are important to you. What are the areas in your life you are most engaged with other people? We all pretty much have work and family on that list, but what are other areas you are passionate about? Maybe you do a lot of volunteering in your community or play on a sports team. Or maybe you have a hobby in common with others that you get a great deal of enjoyment from.

Life Aspects arranged around the Network Map

The first step is to assess the main aspects of your life that are important to you. What are the areas in your life you are most engaged with other people? We all pretty much have work and family on that list, but what are other areas you are passionate about? Maybe you do a lot of volunteering in your community or play on a sports team. Or maybe you have a hobby in common with others that you get a great deal of enjoyment from. After some self-reflection, I was able to break down the major aspects of my life into these 4:

  • Business
  • Education
  • Personal Development
  • Friends/Family

To get started I just aligned these 4 areas around the edge of my map to see how it all laid out, but you can have any number of life aspects and lay them out any way that makes sense to you.

Build Your Contact Categories

After you’ve got your life aspects figured out, the next step is to figure out the major ways you have met the people in your life. Again, most of us have work and family, but perhaps you have a lot of contacts from school or a community group that you are part of. Once you’ve got your categories, assign each a color or other way to visually distinguish how you got connected with each person. Here’s how I put contact categories together:

  • Family/Friends – Orange
  • Air Force – Blue
  • Education – Red
  • Personal Development – Purple
  • Business – Green

Again, it’s not so important what your categories are or how you visually distinguish them as long as you have a way that works for you. What aligning people with a contact category achieves is a way for you to remember how you initially connected with that person and what areas you have in common besides the life aspect they fit into.

Use Your Resources

You may be feeling like you don’t have anyone in your network right now, but actually, you probably have many people in your network and just need to dig into the information that you currently have to bring those connections to the front of your mind. Here are a few places you can look for the data you need to populate your network map:

  • Mobile Phone – It seems this is the way most people keep track of most of their contacts these days so this is a logical place to start. Use this as the core of who you are going to add to your network map and figure out which life aspects and contact categories these people primarily fit into.
  • Email Address Book –This probably coincides with your phone address book for the most part, but some email apps or services keep track of addresses separately from your phone address book, so these are worth checking out to see who you have emailed with that may not be stored in your phone.
  • Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media feeds are a good place to go back and look at who you have interacted with recently. You may not want to include everyone from your social media connections, but these feeds are a good way to see who you interact with on a regular basis and how they fit into your life aspects that you defined earlier.

Map It Out

Figure out the best place to put yourself on your network map. I chose to put myself in the center and align my 4 life aspects around me, but do whatever makes the most sense to you. Maybe you place yourself at the top edge of the map with a columns for each of your life aspects and let your contacts cascade down. Using a specific format is not as important as coming away with a tool that you understand and can work with in the future. You may find that you’ll need to experiment with the layout a little to make your network map really productive for you.

My completed (but simplified) network map

Figure out the best place to put yourself on your network map. I chose to put myself in the center and align my 4 life aspects around me, but do whatever makes the most sense to you. Maybe you place yourself at the top edge of the map with a columns for each of your life aspects and let your contacts cascade down. Using a specific format is not as important as coming away with a tool that you understand and can work with in the future. You may find that you’ll need to experiment with the layout a little to make your network map really productive for you.

I chose to use distance from the center as a guide to how close the relationship is with that person, but you may want to cluster people together on your map in a different way. Also, I don’t put lines on the map, but kind of draw them mentally as I’m looking at the map. If it’s helpful to you to draw lines between your connections, feel free to do that.

Keeping Your Network Map Current

As you look through all of your contacts from your various address books, adding them all into your network map at once can be intimidating; so do a little at a time and build yourself a system. One approach is to start with the people closest to you and expand outward, or you could start with your phone contacts and then add in your social media contacts later, or you could just start at the top of the alphabet and work your way down.

Also, keep updating your map as you meet people. One of the advantages of continuing to update and adjust your network map to fit new people into it is that it will jog your memory of the people you already know and help you make connections between people who you may not have thought of before. As we’ve mentioned in other posts, everyone loves someone who connects them to other great people.

Don’t worry about trying to fit everyone you meet into one of the life aspects or contact categories that you defined earlier. As you grow and change in life, your network map will grow and change as well. It makes perfect sense to add life aspects or contact categories to it as you develop both personally and professionally.

Now that you’ve got your network map built you can start using it to figure out who might be able to help you with challenges you are facing, who the kind of people are that you might want to add to your network and who you can start connecting to other people in your network!

Share your life aspects, contact categories, or layout ideas from your network map in the comments!

One simple tool that you can use to improve your networking and build strong relationships is a network map. In this video Jason shows some simple, but effective, things that you can do with a network map to leverage your network to solve problems you may be facing and also to make lasting connections for yourself and (more importantly) for others.

Networking & Your Network Map

Take a look at anyone who is really successful and you will find that they have built a really strong network of people around them; but for many of us, the idea of networking can be intimidating and confusing. “How should we go about networking?”, “Who should we be networking with?” and “Where do we meet these people?” are all questions that come up frequently. Many people also feel like they’re introverted or not good with names and faces and that makes them not good at networking.

Networking – Don’t Stress About It!

The best thing you can do to help improve your networking skills is to not place so much pressure on yourself about networking. All you’re really doing is getting out there and looking for people who share your goals and interests. You can meet people like this anywhere, whether it is through your job, your social circle, or your community. Just as important as getting out and meeting the people you want to bring into your network is keeping track of them and being able to re-connect with them when the need arises.

Using a Network Map

One simple tool that you can use to help keep track of your network and build strong relationships is a network map. In this video Jason shows some simple, but effective, things that you can do with a network map to leverage your network to solve problems you may be facing and also to make lasting connections for yourself and (more importantly) for others.

Starting a Leader’s Journal can be a great way to start enhancing your creativity and innovation. The idea comes from Steven Johnson’s “Where Good Ideas Come From” where he discusses how the great thinkers of the Enlightenment Period would keep “commonplace books” for recording their thoughts, observations about the world and the ideas of others that they found interesting.

Enhancing Creativity Using a Leader’s Journal

Starting a Leader’s Journal can be a great way to foster your creativity and innovation. The idea comes from Steven Johnson’s “Where Good Ideas Come From” where he discusses how the great thinkers of the Enlightenment Period would keep “commonplace books” for recording their thoughts, observations about the world and the ideas of others that they found interesting.

Enhancing Creativity with a Handwritten Journal

My handwritten journal is where I really get in touch with who I am and the kind of ideas that I want to foster. I don’t store a lot of information like facts and figures in here, but it is where I capture the attitudes and themes that I want to bring forth every day. This is where I do my daily practice of writing down each morning what I am grateful for and the things I want to achieve every day. This is not in the sense of a “to-do list” (although I have one of those as well) but more of the kinds of behavior I want to remind myself to exhibit each day. Some examples are:

  • Living according to my core values and truth
    My handwritten journal is where I really get in touch with who I am and the kind of ideas that I want to foster. I don’t store a lot of information like facts and figures in here, but it is where I capture the attitudes and themes that I want to bring forth every day.

    Handwritten Journals can be a key component of your Leader’s Journal

  • Letting my true personality shine through
  • Being open to what the universe is trying to teach me today

That may sound a little new-age and touchy-feely but I’ve found since I started recording this practice in my handwritten journal that these attitudes come easier each day and help put me in a more creative flow throughout the day where ideas come to the front of my mind much easier. A key part of this daily practice is also reviewing at the end of the day how much I connected with these attitudes and if there is anything I would have done differently. Finally, I just kind or review any other ideas I may have written in the journal because that’s where I chose to get them down instead of using one of my other tools.

 

 

 

 

Enhancing Creativity with Evernote

Evernote is probably the tool I use most throughout the day to capture ideas into my Leader’s Journal that I want to follow up on. It’s so easy to screenshot or bookmark something with Evernote (literally a few mouse clicks) that I’m able to create a great visual reminder of websites, blog posts or issues and ideas that I can use to create my own content on the subject later on. As I review things I’ve captured in Evernote later on, it helps me to draw connections between those ideas and include my own thoughts to build a new, bigger and better idea.

Evernote is a great way to capture ideas visually

Evernote is probably the tool I use most throughout the day to capture ideas into my Leader’s Journal that I want to follow up on. It’s so easy to screenshot or bookmark something with Evernote (literally a few mouse clicks) that I’m able to create a great visual reminder of websites, blog posts or issues and ideas that I can use to create my own content on the subject later on. As I review things I’ve captured in Evernote later on, it helps me to draw connections between those ideas and include my own thoughts to build a new, bigger and better idea.

Evernote is not just great for connecting ideas, but also with people.  I use my leader’s journal to follow up with people I meet whether that’s in person, online or otherwise and Evernote is the primary tool I use to capture their contact information. #FollowFriday on Twitter is a really good example. When I have a great conversation or interaction with someone on Twitter throughout the week, I screenshot their info in Evernote and send out #FollowFriday tweets on Friday mornings including all of the great people I met that week.

 

 

Enhancing Creativity with Article Readers

Another tool that makes up a significant part of my Leader’s Journal is article readers like Feedly and Flipboard. This is how I curate the content for myself that I want to read and share with others. Apps like these are a great way to not only become more expert on the topics you feel are important to keep up with in your primary field, but also on things that you enjoy or are passionate about.

Article Readers can be a great way to curate content you want to save and share

Another tool that makes up a significant part of my Leader’s Journal is article readers like Feedly and Flipboard. This is how I curate the content for myself that I want to read and share with others. Apps like these are a great way to not only become more expert on the topics you feel are important to keep up with in your primary field, but also on things that you enjoy or are passionate about. You’d be surprised how often an idea from one of your hobbies or side ventures can grow into a solution to a problem in your job. My business is leadership so I subscribe to a lot of blogs and other media sources about leadership and management, but I also read a lot of things about social media and marketing so I can reach and help more people, as well as about art, science and relationships to help me bring good ideas from those worlds into my coaching efforts. These tools make it easy for me to gather content that I think is beneficial, save what I want for later and also share with others to start a dialogue and collaborate to bring in other perspectives and foster more creative ideas.

 

Enhancing Creativity through Social Media

You’ll definitely get benefit from your journal by pulling together and reviewing all of the great things you put in it, but you’ll really see more gains when you share your ideas with others and bring in alternate perspectives on your thoughts. Using your social media accounts to share items that you think others would find interesting is a great way to do this. It’s easy, convenient and potentially reaches everyone you are connected with on social media.

Sharing on Social Media is a good way to put your ideas out there and get feedback from others

Sharing is Caring, or so the saying goes. The same is true when it comes to your Leader’s Journal. You’ll definitely get benefit from your journal by pulling together and reviewing all of the great things you put in it, but you’ll really see more gains when you share your ideas with others and bring in alternate perspectives on your thoughts. Using your social media accounts to share items that you think others would find interesting is a great way to do this. It’s easy, convenient and potentially reaches everyone you are connected with on social media. It’s really important to include your own thoughts on what you’re sharing so that others can give you feedback on your ideas and help make them even stronger. Encouraging people to comment can bring in thoughts that enhance your ideas that you may never have considered unless you had shared.

 

 

 

 

It’s important that your Leader’s Journal not just become a black hole where you dump ideas, thoughts and things you find interesting, never to seen again. Another repository of information that you never look at again will not help you make the kind of creative leaps called “slow hunches” that Johnson describes in his book. Taking some time to really sit down with your journal and look back at your thoughts and ideas in a reflective manner will start to spark those circuits in your brain that will start to put together those “slow hunches”.

One last piece of advice: If you’re not sure if you should include something in your Leader’s Journal, trust your instincts and put it in anyway. You may not know why something that you put in your Leader’s Journal is important to you. Just go ahead and put it in there, you can always take it out later, but it will be much harder to find

Tell us in the comments what tools you’ve built your Leader’s Journal around and the kinds of things you include in it.

We all want to foster our own creativity and help our team come up with innovative solutions to the problems that we face. One of the biggest myths about creativity is that it often comes as a "lightning bolt" or an epiphany that hits us all at once. In Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson dispels that myth by talking about the concept of a "slow hunch". We can take advantage of these "slow hunches" and try to develop our own creativity and grow our small ideas into big innovations. In this video Jason LeDuc talks about creating a Leader's Journal that captures our ideas and daily activities so that we can draw from them in the future. He also shows some tools that you can use to start building your Leader's Journal to enhance your creative process.

Creativity & Your Leader’s Journal

We all want to foster our own creativity and help our team come up with innovative solutions to the problems that we face. One of the biggest myths about creativity is that it often comes as a “lightning bolt” or an epiphany that hits us all at once. In Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson dispels that myth by talking about the concept of a “slow hunch”.

We can take advantage of these “slow hunches” and try to develop our own creativity and grow our small ideas into big innovations. In this video Jason LeDuc talks about creating a Leader’s Journal that captures our ideas and daily activities so that we can draw from them in the future. He also shows some tools that you can use to start building your Leader’s Journal to enhance your creative process. Periodically reviewing the items in your Leader’s Journal is key to helping develop those “slow hunches”.

Tools for your Leader’s Journal that Will Help Your Creativity:

  • Handwritten Journal
  • Evernote
  • Feedly
  • Flipboard
  • Social Media Networks

No matter what stage your project, business or team is in at the moment, it’s critical to continue to take action. Developing your strategy is important but shouldn’t prevent you from moving forward on tasks you know must be accomplished to successfully achieve your mission.

Taking Action – 3 Ways You Can Keep Moving the Ball Forward

No matter what stage your project, business or team is in at the moment, it’s critical to continue to take action. Developing your strategy is important but shouldn’t prevent you from moving forward on tasks you know must be accomplished to successfully achieve your mission. Holding off on action until you get your strategy fully refined, waiting for perfect information, or trying to build a bulletproof plan that covers every possible contingency can lead to paralysis. While it is important to take time and self-reflection to plan well, avoiding action is just as bad (maybe worse) than going forward without a plan.

The opposite extreme of avoiding action is taking a bunch of random actions that all seem like a good idea at the moment, but are never considered for how they fit together into the big picture of accomplishing the overall mission. Like most things in life, a balanced approach can help keep your team moving forward while still freeing some time up to consider your strategy. Here are a few tips you can use to help achieve that balance:

Take Action on the Easy Things

Benjamin Franklin said “Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today”. Applying that philosophy to all of the little things that you can do right now can help you keep taking action every day.

Joseph-Siffrein Duplessis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Benjamin Franklin said “Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today”. Applying that philosophy to all of the little things that you can do right now can help you keep taking action every day. Whenever you think of a simple task like posting that photo, sending a tweet or updating that document, if you do it right away you’ve just taken action. If you know it needs to get done and it doesn’t require a lot of thought or evaluation about how it fits into your desired end state, go ahead and do it, or delegate it to someone on your team and give them the authority to keep doing it every day.

 

Use Tech to Force You into Action

For the bigger, more complex tasks that require more thought or consideration, you may have to use a different tactic. Your team is carrying their phones with them pretty much all the time, so make the tech work for you by scheduling reminders or appointments to block off time to get that task done. Schedule a drop-dead point to make a decision and stick to it. Hold your team accountable to deadlines that you set and they agree to. Build the team’s schedule around meeting your drop-dead decision point. As you and your team become more adept at this you’ll be able to simply schedule the decision point and allow them the flexibility to accomplish the work necessary without dedicating time to work on it.

Tell Others What Action You’re Going to Take

Tell some key friends or colleagues what outcomes you’re working towards and the actions you’re going to take to get there.

By Mikhail Gorbunov (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Something magical happens when we tell someone out loud that we’re going to take some kind of action. For most of us, our human psychology makes us not want to disappoint that person by not following through. Tell some key friends or colleagues what outcomes you’re working towards and the actions you’re going to take to get there. Also tell your team the actions you are taking to support their efforts as well as the actions you are expecting them to take. Putting your intent out in public will inspire you to take a little extra accountability to see those actions through to the end. An added bonus is that you can get a little feedback from others on your approach and improve your outcomes even more.

 

When I was at my pre-deployment training for my second deployment to the Middle East, our instructors used to tell us that in time-critical situations, “Any decision is better than no decision!” The intent was not to have us rush into poor decisions, but to teach us to evaluate when a situation required careful and deliberate consideration, and when taking quick (but cautious) action was appropriate. The same will be true of many of your day-to-day decisions and actions as a leader. It’s not productive to overthink the relationship between your daily actions and the exact wording of your mission and vision statements. If you can convince yourself you are being true to the spirit of your mission and the people you are trying to help, your actions will be aligned with your strategy and purpose.

Share in the comments what steps you take to take action and keep your team moving the ball forward on your mission.

 

While strategic thought and planning are important to achieving any goal, it's crucial to keep taking action on completing your mission while you contemplate your mission and vision statements. In this video, Jason LeDuc emphasizes the need to keep taking action and talks about how to avoid decision paralysis that is counter-productive.While strategic thought and planning are important to achieving any goal, it's crucial to keep taking action on completing your mission while you contemplate your mission and vision statements. In this video, Jason LeDuc emphasizes the need to keep taking action and talks about how to avoid decision paralysis that is counter-productive.

Commit to Taking Action!

While strategic thought and planning are important to achieving any goal, it’s crucial to keep taking action on completing your mission while you contemplate your mission and vision statements. In this video, Jason LeDuc emphasizes the need to keep taking action and talks about how to avoid decision paralysis that is counter-productive. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to try to take big, drastic, exciting actions to feel like things are still moving forward. Continuing to work on the day-to-day tasks that you know you need to get done that will help you keep making progress while still giving you time to do the strategic thinking necessary to lead your team effectively.

5 Examples of Ways to Keep Taking Action

  • Build your website
  • Refine your product design
  • Network with others in your industry
  • Promote your service
  • Engage with your target market on Social Media

 

On Spetember 4, 2015, Evil Genius Leadership Consultants will host a live stream and twitter chat leadership book club discussion of Dorie Clark's Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It. Topics will include why it's important to put together big ideas and how to rally others around them.

Leadership Book Club – September 2015

As we frequently talk about with our clients and in our posts, personal and professional development are key to growing into strong leaders ready for the challenges of tomorrow. Approaching development from the perspective of a student of leadership as an art and science is an effective way to absorb new ideas and incorporate them into your leadership philosophy and style.  This kind of development can be difficult to do on your own if you don’t have a group of other leaders to discuss and debate with. We want to help build a strong community of leaders who have a forum to discuss the ideas that are on their minds.

September’s Leadership Book Club Theme – Fostering Ideas and Building a Following

In today’s fast-paced society with the incredible number of information channels that bombard us daily, it can feel like our thoughts and ideas get lost in the shuffle and don’t get heard by others. While hard work and dedication are crucial to success, it’s more important than ever to communicate our ideas and make sure that we are reaching the people who support and can benefit from them.On Spetember 4, 2015, Evil Genius Leadership Consultants will host a live stream and twitter chat leadership book club discussion of Dorie Clark’s Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It. Topics will include why it’s important to put together big ideas and how to rally others around them.

Jason LeDuc from Evil Genius Leadership Consultants discusses how leaders must be clear about their vision that drives the mission forward. Items to consider and practical tips on how to craft a powerful vision statement.

Vision Goes Hand-in-Hand with Mission

All truly great leaders all have a mission that they put their heart and soul into and are able to articulate that mission in enrolling and inspiring ways.

Your own mission statement describes not just what your mission is, but why it is important in a larger sense for you and your team to achieve it. Writing your mission statement is just the beginning, as a leader you must be clear about the vision that drives the mission.

Vision: What is it?

Your vision is how the completed mission looks and feels. Vision is what connects you personally to the mission and shows how you believe the world looks like a better place in the future. If your mission is a task that has been handed down to you from one of your leaders, this is a great opportunity for to personalize the mission. Here is your chance to tell the world not just what you think the basic physical substance of the result is but the aesthetic of it as well. This is where you really get to connect with your team on a human level and motivate them by harnessing the power of their imaginations about the mission.

Things to consider as you contemplate your vision:

  • What does a successful outcome look and feel like?
  • Who benefits from that success and how their lives are better for it?
  • Is it consistent with the initial problem you set out to solve?
  • Does it accomplish every part of the mission you have taken on?
  • Are there some gaps in the vision you need to fill in?

Vision is not org charts, schedules, lists and financial spreadsheets. It may be tempting to start breaking down tasks and assigning them before your vision is firmly fixed in your mind because you know they will need to be done, but it’s important to establish the vision first to frame the desired outcome for your team before they get started. Organization and tools are important and will all come later.

Creating your Vision

Putting together a vision is a little more advanced than capturing your mission statement, but definitely worth the effort. Some tips to help you put together your vision:

  • Be very clear on what the mission statement is, what you are trying to achieve and why it is important.
  • Consider carefully who benefits from completing your mission. Not just your team or your company, but what is the good that comes about in the world by successfully achieving what you set out to do.
  • Project your thoughts into the future to a time when your mission has been achieved. Engage all of your senses and see, hear, touch, smell and taste what that success looks like. If it is a product, how does the finished product look? What does it sound like? What is the texture of it? Are there smells, tastes, sounds associated with the way you view the finished product? What are the emotions the finished product is intended to evoke? If the mission isn’t going to result in a physical product, such as an event or milestone, apply the same questions to the environment and people involved instead of a physical object.
  • Translate these thoughts and feelings into words to share with your team. Be as vivid as possible in describing the various physical and emotional aspects of what the completed mission will bring forth into the world. Try to get them to picture it in their minds as completely as you were able to picture it in yours.
  • Be prepared to answer questions from your team and clarify your meaning. Even your most experienced team members might have a hard time visualizing your vision. Attempt to make it as crystal clear in their minds as it is in yours.

Your vision may be something you want to unveil to your team when you first share the mission statement with them or, if more appropriate to your situation, you may want to give them the mission first and allow them to share in creating the vision. Including ideas from your team members can result in a deeper, more thoughtful vision that will achieve the most possible good in the world as you accomplish your mission.

Share your mission and vision statements with us in the comments. If you are struggling with putting those together, please contact us and we’ll give you a hand.

Photo Credit: By Alan Light [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Jason LeDuc talks about how your vision complements your mission statement and how the two are different. He points out some examples of strong visions statements and shows you how to write your own powerful vision statement that engages the senses and evokes emotions in others.

Evoking Your Powerful Vision

You’ve seen how important it is to have a clear and concise mission statement if you expect your team to be able to achieve the goals you set out for them. Just as critical as communicating that mission is articulating your vision of how the completed mission looks and feels. Your vision is the personal connection you have to the mission and shows how you believe that you’re making the world a better place. Sharing your powerful vision goes beyond how you see the practical benefits of your work,  how you envision it with all five of your senses and just what emotions you’re trying to evoke in others to get them as excited about your mission as you are.

Evil Genius Leadership Consultants Vision:

A world where leaders base decisions on a balance of mission accomplishment, community focus and empathy and compassion for people.

Share your vision statement with us in the comments! If you have questions, feel free to contact us and we’ll help you write a powerful vision statement that will engage and captivate your team!

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