I once heard a story about a distracted man who was walking along the road when he fell into a deep and dark hole.
Over and over he tried to get out, but he couldn’t. So he cried out: “Help! I’m stuck in a dark hole and can’t get out!”
A doctor, who was passing by, stopped. He pulled out a piece of paper and wrote the man a prescription for his nerves and tossed it down the hole.
The man’s heart sank.
Soon after, a priest stopped by. “Thank goodness,” the man cried in relief.
The priest paused and wrote the man a prayer and tossed it down the hole, then walked away.
Just as the poor man had given up all hope, a nice man jumped down into the hole with him.
“What?!” The man could not believe his eyes. “Why did you jump down? Now we are both stuck here!”
The other man calmly said, “Don’t worry, I’ve been here before and I know the way out.”
Storytellers Make Vision Stick
I often say that master storytellers can rule the world.
Vision stories cast a picture of the future and show what’s in it for others. When you take the time to hone a perfect story that illustrates that vision, you are more likely to create an emotional connection with the audience. That’s what Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs were able to do.
Trust Comes Before Vision
Remember that before you can share your vision for the future, your audience needs to know you understand where they are now. Communicating trust always comes before communicating vision.
Once you have your audience’s trust, you gain their permission to share what’s in it for them. Now you can share your vision.
Your Vision Story
Visionary leaders have a clear statement — or story — of personal vision.
Your personal vision guides everything you do…. every action… every decision… every piece of communication that echoes that vision.
To craft a vision story, start by answering these questions:
1. What is my personal vision?
2. Do my daily goals and actions align with that vision?
3. Is the story I tell compelling enough for others to catch it and join it?
4. Am I doing a good job to make sure the vision doesn’t leak?
5. What do I need to learn or accomplish daily to move my team’s mission forward?
The following slides offer lessons from leaders who make vision stick. I hope you will use them to engage your team of leaders and inspire them to change the world with your vision… your business… your product. (if you can’t see the slides, view here)
Oh, and by the way… if you found this information helpful, pass it on to someone who may be able to to benefit from it or contact me if you want to discuss how we can help your organization tell better stories.