It's easy for business leaders to get bogged down by the day-to-day grind and demands of the job. Between flying from one meeting to another and staying up late to finish your budget, you're seriously tapped out at the end of the day. But there are two things you can focus on to pull you out of the weeds and motivate your team at the same time: passion and vision.
Step 1: Rediscover your passion
Sit back and ask yourself: Why do I do this? Answers like, "to pay the bills" or "because I'm good at it" are unacceptable here. As Simon Sinek says, "Start with why."
"Everyone has a WHY. Your WHY is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you."
Think back to what first got you into your line of business. What was it that drew you to it? Why this industry over another one? Perhaps you always saw yourself in this line of work. Or maybe you had a sudden awakening and realized what you were meant to do. Either way, find that inspiration and explore it. Try to get in touch with your younger self and revive those genuine feelings and motivation.
From there, dive into the reasons you chose (or started) this particular company. What makes it special? How does it help you live your passion?
Delving into these questions and rediscovering what drives you will accomplish two important things: Inspiring your staff and creating an authenticity behind your business. To quote Simon Sinek again:
"People don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it."
If we've learned anything from Apple, it's that people respond to companies that stand for something. It's one thing to offer a unique product or service, but it's quite another to back that up with a set of core beliefs and a strong purpose. If your company is able to exude your "why" to the public, you will set yourself apart from the pack. It's all about learning to tell your brand's story.
Step 2: Reaffirm your vision
Now that you're in touch with your passion, it's time to make sure you have a crystalized vision for where your company is going. This does not mean having a financial plan. It's much more than that, as Erika Andersen articulated in Forbes:
"A financial plan simply describes the finish line (or the lap marker) and provides sign posts along the way. A vision, on the other hand, tells you the kind of vehicle you'll use, how you'll navigate the course, what you'll do when you get there. And a mission tells you why you're making the journey in the first place."
If you don't already have an official company vision, here are some great tips to craft one. If one does exist, go ahead and re-visit it if you need to and make sure it still holds true. In either case, the next step is very important: sharing that vision with your team.
But it's about more than just telling them about it. What's critical is transferring your vision and passion to them — getting everyone on board with where you see the company going. Forbes found that the more employees believe their organization's vision is meaningful, the more engaged they are in the company. People with low engagement typically don't go above and beyond the call of duty and aren't invested in the company's future.
So how do you get your team on board with your vision? For one, make sure it's from the heart. Channel that passion we discussed earlier and infuse it into your vision statement and how you talk about it. And don't just mention it during the on-boarding process — make it something you speak of often. You might even ask your team members what they think of the vision and if it's something they share. Let them see that you welcome their thoughts and want them to have a vested interest in the company's success.
So go ahead — search your soul, explore your passion, and share it with the world. I guarantee you, your company, and your employees will be better off for it.