Leaders are story tellers. They tell the story of the great vision. They tell the story of where their people have come from and where, collectively, they are going. But most of all, leaders tell the story of who people are.
As engaging as the vision may be, people will be attracted to or repelled from you and your organisation depending on how you write their part in the story, and particularly how they’re valued.
If they don’t like the story you’re writing about them, they will seek out another story writer who will write them into a story in a way they want to be portrayed.
This may be done by leaving your organisation, or by an overthrow in leadership – as we saw in the Labor Party when Kevin Rudd was overthrown, and the many changes of prime minister we have seen since.
Those who stay in your organisation but don’t like the story you’re writing about them, have the potential to weigh your ministry or organisation down.
They are likely to drag their feet on projects and only deliver the minimum on all tasks assigned to them.
They may do better than this if they have a high level of maturity, but even those people who show maturity will be unlikely to remain in your organisation for any length of time if they don’t see themselves playing the character they want to be in the narrative you’re delivering.
You may not be able to control whether or not the people you are leading believe in your vision, or your ability to deliver the vision you cast, but you are able to impact how valued your team feels.
If you see the best in your team, and value each team member highly, over time they will prove the value that you place in them to be well founded.