Vision is essential to an organization.  Vision is what drives people to work together to accomplish something significant.  If you don’t have a compelling vision, people will drift, lack energy, and not perform.  But it is one thing to have a compelling vision and communicating that vision in such a way that it drives your organization.

Your vision is meaningless if you don’t cast that vision effectively.  There are many reasons why vision casting fails to be received by your team.  Some common mistakes are:

  1. Don’t communicate the vision with clarity. The vision is “muddy”.
  2. The vision is too complicated. The vision is more like a shotgun than a rifle bullet.
  3. The vision is not communicated often enough. We assume people know it already.
  4. The vision is not big enough. It doesn’t inspire.

I want to focus on a reason that vision casting fails that is often not understood or even known.  You may not be connecting with your people when you share your vision because you don’t understand the differences in how people are motivated.  You must connect your vision with a person’s motivation.

If you fail in vision casting, your organization will flounder.  You will lose the heart of your team which means they will not give themselves fully to the task.  Even worse, they may fight your vision if they haven’t bought in.  Even if they don’t outwardly attack your vision, they may become passive aggressive in their behavior.  You can’t afford to assume that your organization is all on the same page as you until you have learned to communicate the vision in such a way that each member of the team owns the vision as their own and are committed to the vision.

Effective vision casters understand that we are each motivated differently and therefore the vision must be communicated in different ways to different people.  There are four main motivations that you must learn to translate your vision into to connect effectively.  (source: TotalSDI.com)

  1. Motivated for People: The vision must be connected to how the vision will impact people.  These individuals are about people and what impacts them.  They must see the benefit of how the vision will impact the lives of people.  Connect the vision to people.
  2. Motivated for Performance: The vision must be connected to accomplishment.  These people are motived by challenges and doing something significant.  They want to know what difference it will make if the vision is accomplished.
  3. Motivated for Process: The vision must be connected to a logical and predictable process.  Vision must have facts and research to grounds the vision.  A vision that is not well thought out with facts and irrefutable truth will not motivate these people.  Don’t just tell them where we are going, but why this is the right way to go and worthy of our effort.
  4. Motivated for Perspective: The vision must value different perspectives.  These people want to be included in the process of developing the vision.  They want to know that the team can speak into the vision with different perspectives.  If they are not involved in the development of the vision and have little or no input into the vision, they have a difficulty buying in.  They want to be on the team and for them it means they need to look at all the options out there before just committing to a direction.

Most leaders assume that people are motived just like them, so their vision is cast for people like themselves.  If they are about people, they will cast vision in such a way that they emphasize the impact the vision will have on people.  If they are motivated by performance, the vision will be focused on accomplishment.  You get the idea.  The problem is that you can’t afford to have only one fourth of your organization connected to the vision in their heart.  You need everyone to be committed at the heart level.

My personal motivation is tied to performance.  I emphasize numbers and bigness, and accomplishment.  For instance, when casting vision for a new building project for the church, my natural bent to vision casting is to talk about the “huge” difference this is going to make and how many more people we will be able to reach and all the great ministry we will accomplish.  Many people will respond to that because they are wired the same way.  They see what I see!  But there are many other people who don’t connect to the way I am vision casting.  They wonder how this new building is going to impact the people already there?  Will people feel lost in the larger church?  Will we have the same level of intimacy?  Others want to know the details of how the vision was established, not just the great goal.  They struggle to connect to how the funds will be raised and whether the church is building the right kind of facility.  Did anyone consider the demographics of the community?  Still others want to be able to question all the decisions or at least have the opportunity to give a different perspective, not because they disagree, but simply because they value integration of ideas and the value of all the team to get the best ideas.

Here are three steps to take to become a better vision casting leader:

  1. Know your own preference for vision casting: don’t let this be your only way to cast vision.
  2. Learn how to translate your vision into the other people’s motivations. Connect at the motivational level
  3. Adapt to who you are communicating. In a group situation, you will need to connect with all four motivations to be more effective.

Effective vision casting will require intentionality in communicating with people from different motivational drives.  With some practice, you will begin to naturally communicate more broadly and in ways that will draw more people in.  You can learn more about motivational drives and relating with different people more effectively at consentiagroup.com.

Bruce Terpstra

Our President, Dr. Bruce Terpstra, has 36 years of pastoral ministry experience. He is a veteran of 17 years in denominational leadership and developed more than 70 new churches in the New York metro area and has given oversight to almost 400 pastors. He holds a doctorate in Leadership Development and is also the founder of 3KeyCoaching and the author of Three Passions of the Soul.