Okay, so I know I am going to oversimplify this and I may irritate some people, but let’s look at this through a Strategic Planning lens. As a Strategic Planning facilitator it is clear to me that a major reason Donald Trump won the election was that he had a clear and consistent Vision Statement. Donald Trump’s campaign slogan – “Make America Great Again” was simple, concise, and easy to remember. Making America Great is something we can all embrace. It resonates with large numbers of people who feel they have been left out and ignored. It did not change throughout the election. When we close our eyes we all have a Vision of what a “Great America” looks like. Whether you love him or hate him, you know the slogan.
Now let’s look at the other side. If you know that Hillary’s slogan was “Stronger Together” you are in the minority. The Clinton slogan did not surface until May 2016 after they had considered and rejected 84 other other possibilities (CNN). If you are familiar with Simon Sinek’s excellent book, Start With Why, you will recognize that Donald Trump focused on the WHY. Hillary focused on the HOW. Most of us don’t care much about the HOW until we have bought into the WHY. The Clinton Vision was not clear, not consistent, and not easy to share.
So why do you care about this as a business leader? As mentioned in a previous blog (The 3 Roles of a Leader), your first role as a leader is to Set Direction. If they are going to follow you, your people need to know where you’re going. If you are experiencing a lack of employee engagement, high voluntary turnover, absenteeism, and productivity problems, take a good hard look at the direction you are setting.
First, you need a clear, consistent, and commonly shared Vision of where you are taking the organization. If you are not crystal clear on what your mean, there is no way your people will be.
I welcome your thoughts and comments. If you would like an evaluation of your current Vision/Strategic Plan, please contact us.