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When Sharing the Vision, Show People What’s in It for Them
Team members rarely say so out loud, but when listening to the vision and pathway forward for the team or organization, they want to know what is in it for them.
The sacrifices by the team necessary to bring a vision to fruition are not insignificant. So, wondering what direct benefits they will derive from busting their tails is more pragmatic than selfish.
Smart leaders understand that compelling the team forward through a lofty vision always requires addressing what is in it for each and every team member. Listing the many benefits of achieving the vision works best in group settings, but when it comes to individual team members, the best leaders reserve a one-on-one conversation so they can be highly specific to each person. In whatever manner the group might profit from realizing the vision, the same message could fall flat for individual team members. When they say, “What is in it for me?” they mean it literally.
For some team members, the advantages may vary widely. From new roles and potential promotions to higher compensation and increased external exposure, the benefits for each team member should be highly specific. Leaders who can’t think of how achieving the vision will benefit any individual team member differently likely haven’t thought through what it will take to realize the dream.
Leaders who really know team members have a distinct advantage when describing the benefits of working toward the vision. They intuitively match what team members most desire in their careers to the challenge of achieving the vision. This makes the promise of sacrificing for the vision emotionally real and inviting.
Leaders often talk about sharing the vision with the team, whereby everyone has a clear understanding of what lies ahead and is prepared for the challenge. Truly sharing the vision doesn’t happen if team members don’t also understand what is in it for them.
Making this link explicitly with each and every team member is how the best leaders motivate the highest commitment to the dream. Leaving it to team members to figure it out on their own is a recipe for lackluster performance against the vision. That’s no way to cut a path forward.