While there are many attributes that define good leadership, we usually think of a leader’s ability to share a vision as the real indicator of that leader’s reputation. Vision is often thought of as being synonymous with leadership. Having a vision for where the team is going is what being a leader is about, right?
You don’t have to be the owner or CEO to commit to a vision for growth and success. You can lead from within an organization by being able to inspire others to get on track for driving toward a vision; a vision set by others above you.
However, there is a breakdown that can occur when a person in authority tries to execute on a vision. I’ve seen managers, very senior managers, who know the vision. They helped write it. Yet their ability to lead others to achieve that vision fails. Why?
Once a vision is crafted and carefully written, you have to get buy-in from those who must execute the vision. Your team has to embrace the merits of the vision. They need to understand why and ‘what’s in it for me?’ Those are fair questions for employees to be asking.
Obtaining buy-in is where a Manager may fail as a Leader
Buy-in is hard to achieve because people don’t buy into ideas, they buy into people. The person sharing the idea must be credible, relatable, and someone with whom others can identify.
Your people need to buy-in to you before they buy-in to your vision. Being just another talking head in a management seat will not go very far.
John Maxwell writes about the principle of the buy-in in his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”.
Having an understanding of that will change your whole approach to leadership. When your team begins to process the content of the message you may be sharing, they first filter it through you.
Ask Yourself This Question
What is the current level of buy-in for the people you lead? If your team is small, make a list. Rate each team member’s buy-in on a scale of 1 to 10. A 1 means they wouldn’t follow anything you say. A 10 means they’d follow you anywhere. If your overall ranking is low, you have a lot of work to do before the team decides to find another leader.
What to Do?
Here are some ways you can earn credibility and increase your leadership.
- Develop better working relationships
- Be honest and authentic as you earn their trust
- Hold yourself to high standards, setting a good example
- Give them the tools to do a better job
- Help them achieve personal goals at work
- Develop others as leaders; mentoring them along the way
Make your strategy unique to each person. As Maxwell says “If you make it your primary goal to add value to all of them, your credibility factor will rise rapidly.”
Question: How are you doing with earning buy-in from your team?