Vision casting is an art form that all great leaders must master. Whether you’re leading a small business, local church or Fortune 500 company, you have to be able to communicate your unique vision for the future to others. Simply identifying a vision is not enough. People are skeptical. The casting and communication of your vision must be clear, concise and compelling. If it is not, your words will float in one ear and out the other. The best way to cast vision is to answer tough questions ahead of time. These three questions provide leaders the clarity they need to communicate a vision to the public.
Realize the weight and power of your words
Everybody possesses the ability to cast vision. Think about it – most of us cast vision everyday. We make comments about what could be or should be. You’ve probably suggested to a friend or family member how they could improve their life; or shared ways your company could do business better. All of that is vision casting. The position we hold in people’s lives determines the weight of our words and thus our potential to shape their future. But vision casting is not just about the content of your vision – it’s also about how you transfer that vision to others.
Answer these three essential questions about your vision -
In order to effectively cast vision, you have to know it inside and out. You have to be able to answer any questions that arise in a calm and confident manner. You have to be able to “sell” people on your vision. To do that, ask yourself these three questions:
What is the problem?
People will not be emotionally connected to a vision unless they are emotionally connected to the problem. First and foremost, they have to agree there is a problem. Then they must agree the problem needs to be solved. They have to recognize the negative impact of the problem and how it affects them. You have to relay that information. You have to speak to the individual, painting a clear picture of the problem and the long-term repercussions it will have. As you explain the problem, people should be thinking “something must be done”.
What is the solution?
How will the vision solve the identified problem? This is where you really must be clear. And where you should be prepared for questions and criticism. People like to poke holes, trying to hit that one spot that will cause the whole thing to fall apart. You need to be prepared for that. You should have an answer for everything. You have to reflect absolute knowledge of the vision, and explain why it is the very best solution to the problem at hand. This requires true understanding and total belief in the vision.
Why must something be done now?
Timing is everything. Even if people believe in your vision, they may not believe it needs to be executed now. They will find reasons – time, money, resources – why the vision cannot or should not be pursued. You have to have a compelling case for why the time is now. You have to communicate a sense of urgency. You have to make it clear that the clock is ticking, and not taking action for even a moment longer will increase the negative impact of the problem. Especially in the case of big decisions, people like to procrastinate. To make your vision a reality, you have to convey the immediacy of the situation.
Give each of these questions a lot of thought. Outline, elaborate and then write out your answers to each of them. Answering these questions will give you the clarity needed to engage people’s minds, hearts, resources and time. When you can clearly articulate answers to these questions, you are ready to publicly cast your vision.