How To Use 3 Questions To Create Action From Your Vision

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This article is part of my Global Leadership series; Insights from more than a decade of leadership training around the world…

If the leadership vision you are casting is not resulting in movement or action, you are simply sharing nice words.

Leadership vision results in action.

Whether it was Martin Luther King Jr’s, “I have a dream”, Winston Churchill’s, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, sweat and tears”, or John F. Kennedy’s, “We choose to put a man on the moon”, when effective leaders cast vision, the result is always movement. And so, the question you must address in your leadership is, “Is the vision you are casting producing positive movement?”

Here are 3 related questions that can get you started.

Each of these questions were effectively addressed by the team I worked with in Hong Kong, who were organizing one of our training events for the Global Leadership Summit. When I arrived, the team pointed out a significant challenge they were facing. As with much of Hong Kong architecture, the venue for the conference was a tall and narrow building, which featured 3 auditoriums; one on each of the building’s first three floors. The event would take place in the auditorium on the first floor, and then shown by closed-circuit screens in the upper two auditoriums.

The organizers needed to convince the majority of guests to move to the upper floors. They accomplished this by leveraging the 3 questions of a compelling vision…

1. What’s the big deal?

Before responding to the vision, people need to know what’s at stake.

In this case, the organizers told each guest that the leadership training was of such value that each of us must do our part to allow everyone to participate.

2. What’s the plan?

People might be warming up to the idea that the high stakes are worth pursuing, but they won’t get off the sidelines until they are convinced there is a well-thought out plan.

The Hong Kong team accomplished this with the use of color-coded name tags, which people could voluntarily use if they were willing to shift to a higher floor.

3. What’s in it for me?

People need to know how they can contribute to the vision, and how they can benefit.

The Hong Kong team provided free snacks and refreshments for those willing to move to the upper floors; a creative way to incentivize anyone still sitting on the fence.

While the example of moving people around a conference venue might be of a small scale, the principles apply to any vision you are casting. So, master the art of casting a vision based on these three questions.

And create a vision that moves people to action.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Lifelong learner, practitioner and coach of leadership, across more than 50 countries. Follower of Jesus, husband of Nora, grateful parent and grandparent.

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