Have you ever thought, “How can they still not get it?”

This is not that blog about the fact that you need a vision (you do). This is not that blog about how to write a vision, or that it needs to be significant and compelling (it does). Let’s assume that you’ve done that well.

It’s what comes after where I see CEO’s and owners of companies struggle.

You’ve done the hard work to come up with the vision, and now it’s time to keep it in front of your team.

Captain Obvious says, “You communicate it.” Duh. What the captain forgets is the mode and frequency of that communication.

Oh yeah, you told them at the annual kickoff meeting, it’s on the wall, and in print on your strategic plan. So, why doesn’t your team get where you are going and why?

You aren’t communicating it often enough.

That’s it.

You need to over-communicate, and by over, I mean you need to be relentless in saying and using your vision to make decisions, talk about good news and accomplishments, bad news and failures, hiring, firing, reviews, and the list goes on and on.

Warning: If you are reading this and feeling like you don’t want to communicate your vision this much, then you have an issue with yourself. You may not be on board with your vision. If you’re not on board, then how can your team be?

We’ve found that there are four phases of accepting your vision.

Here’s how you know when your team understands your why:

1.They get annoyed

In the beginning, your team believes that this is just the next “thing” that caught your interest. When you don’t let it go, they will get annoyed. Perhaps some teenage eye rolling will occur and general fidgeting while you “waste” their time with the same story again.

2. They start making fun of you

Once your team accepts that this is a real “thing” and it’s not going away, then they’ll start making fun of you – in a good way. They have accepted the message and have moved beyond annoyed and now laugh at and soon with you. Perhaps they hold up four fingers for the number of times you’ve told a particular story. You are gaining traction.

3. They are with you

After hearing your vision story for the 18th time, your discussions weave the vision into your executive meetings. No more long expositions. You now nudge, remind, retell, and soft sell in the right places at the right time.

4. They say it for you

Finally, you don’t even have to say anything. Team members now tell their own stories and fight the vision fight for you. Congratulations. They “get it.” This is when you will see giant steps taken towards achieving your vision.

Overcommunicate the vision, tell a story that helps illustrate the vision, talk about the vision. Hire and fire by your vision, strategize via your vision.

When in doubt. Shout it out.

You’ll get tired talking about it before you team gets tired of hearing it. Don’t let that happen. You must overcommunicate.

Dan Cooper
Post by Dan Cooper
May 23, 2019
Dan Cooper co-founded ej4, a video-based online training company, in 2003, and was its CEO until selling in 2012. During his time with ej4, he grew the company from a startup to a nationally-recognized firm, serving clients including Pepsi-Cola, Dr. Pepper Snapple, Honeywell, Monsanto and Syngenta. Channel partners included SAP and Oracle. As of the 2012, ej4 was serving 1,000+ customers, delivering millions of program views, was highly profitable and debt-free. Today, he is the CEO of Acumen, a mastermind community platform built for CEOs and Owners of strong and growing companies. He and his wife, Ali, have three children and attend Cure of Ars church in Leawood, KS. Dan enjoys running, all things soccer — coaching, playing and watching —and burning all types of meat on the backyard barbecue grill.