The Head and the Heart: Leaders Aim to Hit Both


John Maxwell explains what a leader needs to emotionally transfer the vision to the team.

Vision determines the direction of the team. When a leader communicates a vision clearly and contagiously, team members gain confidence because they know where they’re going and why it’s important to get there. Casting vision successfully requires both emotional and logical transference.

What is needed to transfer a vision emotionally?

1. Credibility
A leader’s actions speak louder than words. Leaders ought to go first and give the most when contributing to a vision.

2. Passion
Have you ever gone through a checkout lane and had a cashier robotically recite a sales pitch asking you to sign up for the retailer’s credit card? If so, you know that presentation without passion is utterly unconvincing.

3. Relationships
People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. How do you get team members to buy into you as a leader? By serving them and adding value to their lives. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

4. Timing
For a vision to connect, the timing needs to be right. The right decision at the wrong time is still the wrong decision.

5. Felt Need
People are looking to link up with something bigger than themselves. Studs Terkel was right: most people have a job that’s too small for their spirit. They want a sense of purpose, not just a paycheck.

What is needed to transfer a vision logically?

1. A realistic understanding of the situation today.
Some leaders cast vision for tomorrow to cover up the fact that they’re not taking care of business today. As leaders, we have to confront reality. If we’re not honest about our present circumstances, how can we expect people to believe our plan for the future?

2. A sound strategy
Do you have a game plan that you can articulate clearly and succinctly? Team members need to know where they’re going before they can fully accept the responsibility for getting there.

3. The commitment of key performers
If you can’t convince your top players of the plan, then you won’t be able to gain the backing of the team.

4. Celebration of each victory
A big vision happens by reaching a number of smaller goals. When celebrating each win, recap the values and principles that led to victory. In doing so, you reinforce the behaviors needed to accomplish the overall vision. 

5. Evaluation of each defeat
When the team misses a goal, it’s important to acknowledge the failure and to communicate how the team can do better moving forward.

6. Time
Whereas emotional transference depends on timing, logical persuasion simply takes time. People often need to mull over an idea and wrap their minds around it before they will agree to move forward.

Question to Consider
Is it easier for you to cast vision emotionally or logically? Why?


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