We’ve all been there before…your boss just doesn’t like to talk like that. ”Vision? My vision is for you to get back to work!”. Not exactly inspiring, right? Well, there is a vision there, even if he or she doesn’t want to admit it. Here’s how to get it out of them…
First, let’s start by admitting that the word “vision” is one of those over-used, over-hyped terms that has a certain amount of “cheese” to it, unfortunately. It’s still vital to success, but buyer beware; asking your boss for his or her vision can lead to rolling eyes. I’ve seen it happen!
With that in mind, it may be easier to describe what you are looking for in different terms: The future. The path to profits. The direction. The way to win. The secret sauce for success. Whatever get’s the conversation going.
Just keep in mind that your bosses vision is creeping around inside his or her head even if they aren’t good at saying it. It’s your mission to bring it out of them!
So stop complaining that your boss sucks at giving direction, can’t lead their way out of a paper bag, and has the leadership skills of a turtle. You didn’t say that? Oh, good!
Getting Inside Their Head
Whatever you do, if you find yourself in a foggy vision situation and intend on approaching your boss for some big picture direction, here are some things to consider:
- Don’t just pop into your bosses office and expect something great. They are human. Setup a meeting. Let them know ahead of time that you would like to talk about the future of the company. They should appreciate that you are thinking like that!
- Ask your boss specific questions. Example: Where do you see this team going in the next year? Next five years? How can we develop this team to be more efficient? How can we better serve our customers? How can I better serve?
- Ask your boss what info you can share from your meeting with the team? Ask if he or she can have a meeting to discuss it with them?
- Create your own vision. How would you answer the questions above? What is your vision of the future? Don’t limit yourself. Think big. Be bold. Share it and be ready for resistance, but also be flexible in changing it.
- If you don’t agree with your bosses vision, try not to argue. Be glad he shared it for now. Work to change it later.
- Write it all down. Don’t put it on a paper somewhere and hide it. Don’t jamb it in your Evernote and forget about it either. Write it down and post it somewhere visible. Re-visit it often! Ask your boss to re-visit it with you from time to time.
The bottom line here is that your vision of the future (work, home, etc) matters. It’s vital to how you make decisions. We all have a vision, it’s just not always well thought out. It’s also not always aligned with those around us. So, take the time to figure this out as soon as you can and keep working on it!
Question: Do you know your bosses vision? Does your boss know your vision?