Creating a Compelling Leadership Vision and Getting Others Onboard

“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion.” -Theodore Hesburgh, President of the University of Notre Dame

Every leader needs a vision. It is the guidepost with which you lead your life, your team, and your organization. It is rooted in your past, designs your future, and helps you address the issues of today.

A leadership vision should illustrate what’s possible and unite people to make that possibility come to life.

In order to do that, a leadership vision has to be three things: compelling, inspiring, and inclusive.

Below are five ways to craft a leadership statement that creates change and gets people onboard.


Alright, let’s get started!

#1: Dig Deep

You can’t write a blanket statement and call it a day. Your vision is something you should live out every day, proudly and joyfully. The only way to do that is to truly believe in it. If you aren’t inspired by it, chances are nobody else will be, either.

What we’re trying to say here is that… this is where you make it personal.

Below are 10 questions that will get your creative juices flowing.

#2 Develop A Shared Vision With Your Team

Developing a shared vision with them will give your team the clarity, direction and inspiration necessary to thrive in your organization. It will also lay a strong foundation for setting and achieving goals, as well as action planning.

The truth is if you leave out your team when creating a vision, you’ll later have to persuade—or even worse, force them—to buy into it. This is the equivalent of convincing your child to love their chores without incorporating anything that would remotely excite them to do their chores. In other words — it won’t work.

Tying their vision into your own will not only energize your team; it will also inspire commitment, excitement, and a clear path forward.

  1. Send out an employee survey. Sometimes employees are too scared to open up in person. Other times they’re just intimidated by high-level executives. Having them fill out anonymous employee surveys will give them the courage to be honest about where they’re at, what their needs are, and what they want the organization to stand for.
  2. Set up a meeting solely around this topic. Consider setting up a team meeting—or better yet— taking your team out to lunch. taking your team out to lunch. Be open, honest, and vulnerable. Let them know that you care about them, their needs, and their role in the organization. But try not to go overboard, and let them do most of the talking. Stick to simple questions, like “How are you feeling?”, “Do you feel like anything is holding you back right now?”, and “What can I do to improve your life at work?”.
  3. Observe… Listen… Understand… Reflect. In the words of Bryant H. McGill, “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”

One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say. Click To Tweet

#3 Integrate Your Organization’s Vision to Your Own

Aligning your personal vision with your organization’s is imperative. Every organization has a North Star, something to hope for, and work towards. It is your job as a leader to guide and point your team in the right direction. Tying that guidance into your vision will allow you to help move your team, and your organization forward.

#4 Bring it All Together

This is where you get to put all of the puzzle pieces together—your personal vision, your team’s vision, and your organization’s vision—to create your leadership vision. Don’t worry, though. We took the brainwork out of it for you by creating a free leadership vision workbook:

Having a rockstar leadership vision statement will allow you to clearly articulate your vision to your team and everyone else around you. Consider this your leadership elevator pitch!

#5 Get Others Onboard

If you took step #2 seriously (Develop A Shared Vision With Your Team), you are already ahead of the game! Crafting a vision that includes your team will make them more inclined to jump on board with it.

And if you really want to get your team excited, go the extra mile! Treat your new vision like a launch.

Here are five ways to get your team excited about your vision:

  1. Send out a personal email.  Share your new vision with your team by sending out an email that lets them know that they are a part of your vision. Let them know how they were included throughout the process.
  2. Hang it on your wall. Make your vision visual! 😉 Printing, framing, and hanging your vision on a wall will allow you to show your team that you are serious about the future you have illustrated to them. This will also serve as a visual reminder to your team that they are a part of something great.
  3. Make it special. You’ve done some soul-searching, you’ve sought out to understand your team and your organization better, and you’ve thoughtfully designed a new future for you and your team. This really is an epic moment… one that deserves celebrating! Take your team out to dinner and articulate to them how connected you really feel to this new vision of yours. It will make them feel that much more connected themselves, and see a side of you that cares – for them, the organization, and the people of tomorrow. If that doesn’t showcase good leadership, we don’t know what does!
  4. Make your team a part of the “launch.”  Storytelling is essential when trying to create a compelling message. Partner with some of your most creative employees to bring the vision to life in a way that inspires— perhaps using images, metaphors, and stories. Being a part of this will not only make people understand your vision; it will help them communicate and convey your vision in a compelling way as well.
  5. Live it out, everyday. Here’s the thing—leadership is all about setting an example. You can “sell” your vision to people all you want, but if you don’t take the necessary action to make it come to life, they won’t either. In the words of James Hunter, “leadership is character in action.”

Leadership is character in action. - James Hunter Click To Tweet

We hope this inspired you to create or refine a leadership vision of your own! Don’t forget to download your free vision workbook: