If you can inspire your team to work in the right direction, then you can get the very best from them no matter what else is going on. If they believe in your vision, they will be absolutely loyal and absolutely committed to what you’re doing. They will be more focused and they will drive your business, department or startup forward faster than anything else.
Notice the word ‘vision’ here. That’s very important and we’ll come to why in a moment. What’s more, is that if you have a vision for your team, you’ll help to inspire others. That means your customers and your potential business partners. More people will want to work with you. More people will want to buy from you. And more people will want to be loyal to your brand and to think of themselves as a ‘part’ of what you do. It goes deeper too. That’s because having a vision can also help you to make the right decisions for your organisation. The importance of not just keeping your team afloat but of growing and avoiding catastrophe? That all comes from having the right vision. Your vision is what gives you your goal. And if you get it right, it should also be what gives you your drive to succeed and makes that passion contagious. Many of the points we coach stem from that vision.
The Golden Circle
Introducing: The Golden Circle Perhaps the best way to illustrate what is meant by vision, is to look at a concept in business known as the ‘golden circle’. What is the golden circle? Well, if you believe the highly popular TED talk by Simon Sinek (who first proposed the concept), the golden circle is the difference between innovating companies that grow and thrive and those companies that fail.
Why is it that Apple is constantly creating more exciting products? Why is it that the Wright Brothers’ succeeded where others failed, others who had more resources and more means? The answer is the golden circle. The golden circle is made of three ‘rings’ which can be seen as layers. On the outermost ring, you have the word ‘What’. Inside that, you have the word ‘How’. And on the innermost ring, is the word ‘Why’. So as a leader, you need to think about these three things: • What? • How? • Why? For the sake of simplicity, we will start by focusing on this question from a business perspective. That means we can change these questions into:
• What do you do?
• How do you do it?
• Why do you do it?
At IKEA, our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well- designed functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. Amazon
It is our goal to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
To refresh the world in mind, body and spirit. To inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions. To create value and make a difference.
Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share make the world a more open and connected.
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Delight our customers, employees and shareholders by relentlessly delivering the platform and technology advancements that become essential to the way we work and live.
McDonald’s brand mission is to be our customers’ favourite place and way to eat and drink.
Our mission is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential. This is important because it is what makes the brand something that the audience, the employees and the leaders themselves can believe in – and it is what sets the long-term course for the journey. And as Simon Sinek puts it: people don’t buy what you do, people buy why you do it.
The objective is not to sell to people who need what you make, the objective is to sell to people who believe in what you believe. Those are the people who will be loyal to your brand. And the same goes for employees. Employees who believe in your mission statement will stay up late at night working because they believe in what they do – they’re excited by it and they want to see it happen. People on Kickstarter will even pay to see your mission statement become a reality even when there’s nothing in it for them.
Oculus’ mission statement is to: deliver incredible, affordable and ubiquitous consumer virtual reality to the world. This is a mission that people believed in so strongly, that they essentially funded the organisation and allowed it to become a real-life company. A good business starts with that vision and then builds outward from there – everything from the branding, to the marketing, to the products themselves should align with that eventual end goal. And when you’re excited about your goals, it will be infectious. When you’re excited about where your business is going, it will come across in the way you gesticulate, the way you talk and the way you lead.
You can watch Simon Sinek’s Ted talk video here.