Shared Vision — Compliance or Commitment?


Having your employees, investors or your board invested in your vision is an important process for any leader. I’d say it’s one of the top five things a good leader needs to continually work toward and seek. The stories of Steve Job’s departure all contain quotes from employees, competitors and Wall Street types, all of whom attest to Job’s ability to create, share and maintain vision. It’s important and hats off to him for doing it so well.

One of the keys to instilling shared vision is understanding the seven possible attitudes people can have toward a shared vision.

Apathy — Neither for or against the vision. They have no interest. No energy. Employees with this attitude often think, “Is it five o’clock yet?”

Noncompliance — People in this category do not see the benefits of the vision and will not do what’s expected of them. their attitude is commonly, “I won’t do it; you can’t make me.”

Grudging Compliance — Does not see the benefits of the vision, but also does not want to lose their job (or position). They do enough of what’s expected because they have to, but they also let it be known to those around them that they are not fully on board.

Formal Compliance — On the whole, they see the benefits of the vision. They do what’s expected and no more. They are described often as a “pretty good soldier.”

Genuine Compliance — They see the benefits of the vision. They do everything expected and more. They typically “Follow the letter of the law.” They are good soldiers.

Enrollment — They eagerly want the vision to be successful. They will do whatever can be done within the “Spirit of the law.”

Commitment — Wants it. Will do everything to make it happen. They create whatever “laws” (or structures) that are needed for continued success of the vision.

When you look at your team, your organization, your board, or people outside your direct leadership like your investors or bankers. Where do they fall in these seven attitudes? Are then committed? Enrolled? Apathetic?

What do you do on a regular basis to communicate your vision and make it shared? The success of where you’re going may depend deeply on the attitude of people who you hope are on board.

What have you done to get your people, investors, and others aligned and committed to your vision?



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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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