What follows is the second in a two-part series concerning creating and passing on a vision for your commercial construction company. The first part is here.
“If you wish to build a ship, do not divide the men into teams and send them to the forest to cut wood. Instead, teach them to long for the vast and endless sea.”
Although there is some controversy concerning the author of this statement the intent is worth noting.
Vision transfer, an important leadership tool
Among your leadership tools, you must include vision transfer. That is, you must be able to get your team to see a vision worth hard work, sacrifice, and endurance.
I know. That seems like a pretty lofty goal in this day and age. It is hard enough to get some people to put on the boots and show up five days in a row. I get it. Taking time to build and pass on a vision will take (yeah) hard work, sacrifice, and endurance on your part. And it will be worth it.
Making your vision real for your team takes:
- Planning and effort
- Nailing the vision in your head
- Passing it on
Plus, it takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Passing on the vision
Last time, [link] the discussion centered on ways to build a vision for your construction contracting business. This time, the goal is to find ways to pass on your vision to your team. Also, last time, there was a sampling of power words you might find useful in developing your vision.
I saved one power word for this post. It is “Imagine.”
And it is indeed powerful. When you can say to your team, “Imagine . . .” and the members of your team can begin to take part in the imagining process, you’re well on your way to winning the game.
Getting your team on board for seeing your vision is tantamount to and foremost in importance for getting your ship out on the seas of the building world. The first two components, the ones on which all the other components stand, or fall are, walk the walk and talk the talk.
Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk
Behave the way you want your team to behave.
Tell your team how you want them to behave. And share what actions you’ve taken to live up to the vision.
Sit on it
Before your vision can stand up, you and your team must sit down. One of the best ways yet found to get buy-in from any person, team, or organization is to let them “own” it.
You may have seen it at work in your own home. Have you noticed that when a child is allowed to help with the preparation of a meal, he or she is much more likely to enjoy eating that meal?
When you bring the team together to “cook” the vision for your company, you have upped the odds for buy-in.
Who sits at the table?
The short answer is everybody.
If you have only a handful of employees, they can gather around the same table. But, if you have more than ten, you need to find several tables for gathering.
You’ve probably seen this principle in action. You meet for a holiday meal with a large family or attend a banquet with rows of tables, and typically conversations take place within clusters of small groups.
Part of your vision building strategy is to create the clusters with purpose. While circumstances can vary, usually, the optimum size of the small group should be between five and ten. Too few and the conversation can stutter. Too many and some will feel their contribution is less worthy.
Small group tactics
The strategy you’re using to get buy-in from your employees is gathering them in small groups to create conversations that will inform and shape your company’s vision.
The tactic you use when you have less than ten employees is to gather all and hash it out.
If you have more than ten employees, the tactics can vary. Here are a few possibilities:
- Meet in small groups each week until all employees have gotten the message
- Gather in one large group then break into smaller groups
- Have the first meeting with your core leaders one week, telling them what you want to achieve and showing them how you want it done. The next week each of them meets with a small group. When necessary, repeat the weekly small group meetings until everyone has gotten the message.
Base your meetings on these key aspects:
Finally, this article, 5 Rules For Making Your Vision Stick, has powerful information concerning how to get employees deeply involved in the vision for their company.
Employee engagement provides team motivation. The motivation that goes above and beyond written tasks and responsibilities.
Imagine . . . when your team sees a vision worth hard work, sacrifice, and endurance.
We desire to familiarize you with business concepts, which will make it easier for you to be a better commercial construction business owner through our blog posts. Some are new ways of looking at things, and others are refreshers.
Schulte and Schulte Provides Accounting, Contract Document Management, and Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.
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