If you want people to get something, you’ve got to say it over and over again.
Someone might understand a vision after hearing it once, but if you want them to believe in it, get comfortable with repeating yourself.
Vision is painting a picture for people. It’s not just telling them what you mean, it’s showing them. It’s pointing it out when people get close. It’s praising people in front of other people when they get it right.
When you feel like you are a broken record and that you’ve said it fifty times, that’s the moment when people are STARTING to understand. Whether it’s the mission statement, or inviting, or that volunteers can’t just not show up, or that smiling is important, or that tithing is trusting…as a leader, you have to say these things over and over again, in all kinds of ways, until people can visualize it.
When it comes to communicating vision, you really do need to beat the dead horse.
Michael Gerber, founder of IBM, said this: “I had a very clear picture of what the company would look like when it was finally done. I then asked how a company which looked like that would have to act. I then realized that unless we began to act that way from the very beginning, we would never get there. In other words, I realized that for IBM to become a great company, it would have to act like a great company long before it ever became one.
It’s one of the reasons our team is beginning the next 40 days with a 7 minute conference call (9am on the weekday, recorded for on-demand watching on the weekends). I want to keep our seven, 40-day objectives in front of people every day. Heck, I want to keep them before myself for the next 40 days.