A few weeks ago, president Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in parliament. And, unsurprisingly, Ramaphosa’s colleagues in the house responded to these comments and commitments with mixed reviews.. If you watched the annual speech, and the debate that followed, you would have seen that many of the different political parties didn’t buy in to what the president was saying and used the opportunity to punt their own ideals and agendas. This situation is not unique to South Africa. It happens in politics around the world.
The reason for this is simple, there is no shared vision or goal. Each different party has their own idea of what South Africa needs to succeed. This means that no one is working towards a common goal. When faced with this vision challenge, people respond in different ways. Some criticise or sabotage the vision because they don’t understand it. Some ignore it completely and just do their own thing. Some feel excluded from the vision and, as a result, they don’t get behind it.
So, how do you craft a common vision?
If you want people to support your vision, and feel like they’re a part of the plan, you need to make them feel like the business can’t do without them. Like they play an integral role in achieving the vision.
This doesn’t mean that everyone should be involved in creating the vision for your business. But it does mean that you regularly explain and distil the vision to your team so that each person can add his or her own value to the vision. This doesn’t mean that you give a speech once or twice a year. It needs to happen openly and regularly.
Going your separate ways
Sometimes, people don’t buy into your vision. And that’s okay. But it’s important to know when to go your separate ways. This happens quite a lot, especially in new ventures.
In fact, according to new research from VC firm, Fuel Ventures, which surveyed over 3000 UK business owners, 43% of entrepreneurs end up buying out their co-founders due to rifts and power struggles. When asked why they’d split, 71% said the breakup was caused by differences of opinion around the company’s direction. In 92% of the cases, the final uncoupling was due to a single specific disagreement regarding key decision-making.
What is your vision challenge? If you’d like to read more articles like this, you can browse through our leadership content on the Nebula blog. Or you can have these insights delivered to your inbox; subscribe to our monthly newsletter by completing the form below.