Getting Buy-In For Your Vision

Advice and Tips for First-Time Leaders

The Path to Leadership

Leadership can be an adjustment. Oftentimes, a promotion brings with it a host of new responsibilities, expectations, and unexpected difficulties.

One of the most crucial skills for establishing and maintaining your team is crafting and getting buy-in for your vision. Below we've collected advice, tips, and real-world examples from seasoned leaders to help ease that occasionally-rocky transition from contributor to manager.

  • 4/5

    of new leaders felt they weren't prepared to craft and get buy-in for their team vision

  • 93%

    of new leaders had to adjust to delegating responsibilities and tasks

  • Of 14 new leaders,

    14

    felt they needed advice on inspiring their team members

  • Of 14 new leaders,

    14

    had to adjust to managing stakeholders and clients on-the-job

Get People Excited

Inspiring others and evoking excitement is a great way to gain support for your vision. Doing this is easier said than done and there are a couple of tactics you can try:

  1. Start with Why

    Simon Sinek has a famous concept of the “golden circle” to inspire others. This is about lifting yourself out of the ”what” you do and the “how” you do it in order to think about why you do what you do.

  2. Make a Why Statement

    Your Why Statement is a sentence that clearly expresses your unique contribution and impact.

    The impact reflects the difference you want to make in the world, and the contribution is the primary action that you take towards making your impact.

    Together, these two components provide a filter through which you can make decisions, every day, to act with purpose.

  3. A good example of a “why statement” is Airbnb’s mission:

    To connect millions of people in real life all over the world, through a community marketplace — so that you can Belong Anywhere.

Look to the future

Just like getting to the “why” is a powerful tool to find your inspiring message to enroll others - so is the today/tomorrow framework. You can ask yourself 3 questions:

  1. Where are we today?
  2. Where do we want to be?
  3. How do we get there?

For example:

  1. Today we are generating our leads through forms on landing pages
  2. We want to get to a world where submitting your contact details is easy and unobtrusive
  3. We experiment with chatbots and lead ads

Inspiring language

Getting people excited means to get attention. This means to use language that awakens emotions in people and makes them want to get in motion. It means to use simple and easy understandable language that immediately ‘clicks’ with people. It should be high level as opposed to specific. It should embrace big thinking as opposed to detailed focus. Inspirational language sets a positive, hopeful tone and is inclusive of the audience. Not using such inspirational language may not trigger emotions of excitement and create the same spark in people and readiness to roll up their sleeves. Also, be aware that inspiring language is part of getting people excited, whilst there are other aspects introduced in the next section that support people’s believe in a vision.

Get People to Believe

Show, don’t tell the value

People, who act on a vision are those, who believe in that change. It is important to support people’s believe by making the outlook of the results of that change tangible and realistic. Depending on what the given vision is, practical ways to do so are by sharing a case study of another company that has achieved something similar before, or by including screenshots or images. In some cases maybe even a brief, high-level Loom session can support people’s ability to have an image in mind. Depending on the vision, a vivid story about the aspired state for the business can also lead people to visualize this aspired state.

Try to create a strong image about the benefits of that change. Referring back to the previous example of the landing page form, you could use a less than 10 secs long video of a form submission on a website, which has already found a very easy way for people submitting their contact details such as a chatbot. The story around this is that, if it takes only about half of the time to submit contact details that instead of the currently 300 people daily, possibly 500 people will fill out the form and this will lead to huge business improvement. This is an example of how visualization support can be used to paint a clearer picture of an opportunity and how the right story around this can highlight the tangible, potential business impact resulting from this.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Create a visual, whether it’s designing a slide (or a few), arranging data in polished charts, sketching your idea at a whiteboard, or whatever you feel will be most effective and natural to you.

Shape The Vision as a Team

Build a vision with others

Enrolling others in your vision is key to gaining buy in and trust. Co-creation energises your team, gains commitment and provides direction.

Ownership enables trust and responsibility so you’ll need to be ok with changing your vision and allowing others to shape it.

A good practice here is:

  1. Begin by creating a strong vision independently.
  2. Present your vision to your team during a collaborative session, gain feedback and input.
  3. Then go away again independently to analyze.

  1. You can ask your team the same questions that you asked yourself when you set about creating a vision:

    • If we are successful what is the ideal future state?
    • Why do we exist?
    • What do we want to be famous for?

    For example, Google's vision statement is To provide access to the world’s information in one click.

  • The biggest piece of advice I can give a new manager or leader is that you don't have to do it by yourself. If you want people to buy into your vision, ask for their help in crafting it.

    Dmitry Shamis

    Senior Manager, Web Development

  • Hold your vision strong enough so that there's something there but loose enough that it can be improved by the team.

    Laurie Aquilante

    Senior Manager, Funnel Marketing

  • Create an environment where people feel comfortable and safe with failing. Being ok with taking risks and them not working out is what will help the team develop and eventually find those wins.

    Matt Barby

    Global Head of Growth & SEO