“Are you a Democrat or Republican?”

That was the very odd question asked of me during a golf lesson with a guy who’s rated a Golf Digest Top 50 instructor. I’d been given a gift certificate to get a lesson from him at Chambers Bay after volunteering for the US Womens Amateur two months earlier.

He asked me again after I uncomfortably said, “What?”

I responded honestly that I saw myself as an independent, wondering why we would get into a political conversation that I really didn’t want.

“You’re a Republican. Let me show you why…”

He pulled out his iPad. I didn’t realize he’d been filming my swing. He showed me at setup and drew a line down the middle. He asked me, “Which side are you favoring as respects this line?”

I now quickly realized what he’d been doing. That little light above my head switched on.

“The right side…”

“Correct. By the end of this lesson, we need you to be a Democrat!” He smiled wryly.

Without boring you with the details of a proper golf swing, he’d cleverly used a very well-known political term as a metaphor to create a vision. The rest of the lesson – and now moving forward – I have a clear vision of his teaching as respects my golf swing. That was his point. And THAT’S why he’s a top-rated instructor.

He was able to take a complex concept (a golf swing) and break it into an easy to remember thought to help me improve my game.

Business leaders need to do the same thing with their employees.

The business leaders I work with all have a vision for their company. That vision envelops all areas of the organization including operations, company culture, and mission. Sometimes, those concepts can be complex, especially to the employees.

The ability to turn a complex concept into a vision that can be clearly articulated is a great skill. It’s not always inherent, but necessity to advance to company into all rowing in the same direction at full speed.

My golf instructor has made a successful career of using visualization and shared vocabulary to help form a vision for those he teaches. You must do the same.

Consider this 3-step process to help you…

First – be very clear yourself on your vision. Can you articulate your vision to yourself? If not, then you need to start there.

Second – use stories and shared language to articulate that vision to your team. It matters not how long they’ve been with you; what matters is if that little light comes on above their heads.

Finally – Follow up to enhance learning. The instructor sent me his summary and a video of my swing. How can you cement your vision that will translate into the actions and behaviors you want?

Storytelling. Shared experiences and language. Follow through.

This is how you create the shared vision you want for your business.

P.S. Don’t have a business? Do you have a vision for your family? Your career? Your life? You can use the same concepts with your “team” because we can’t be successful by ourselves.

Keep chasing unleashed.

Quote of the Week:

“If opportunity doesn’t knocks, build a door.”

~ Milton Berle

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