The Invitation: Inviting Your Team Into The Process

envelope-wax-sealLeaders, if the team does not weigh in it is highly unlikely the team will buy in. Most people will not submit, commit, or fully contribute until they have the invitation to engage their heart in the vision.

The invitation is not the command to carry out the vision or excited communication of the vision. The invitation is clear permission from the leader given to the team to question the vision for the purpose of soliciting full heart engagement in the vision.

The purpose of the invitation is to help the team own it. What the team does not own, the team will not lay down personal agenda to carry out. But when the team owns it they will do everything possible to make it happen!

When we talk about allowing the team to question the vision it is easy for the leader to become afraid, insecure, and even challenged. But these things are simply the result of a lack of understanding in the reality of shared ownership. When someone commits to a vision with his or her life he or she has to know it is worth it. If a team is going to spend the next six month putting all their time, energy, resources, and man power into one particular focus they have to understand what they are doing and why, the vision needs to be able to burn as deeply in them as it does in the leader.

What leaders need to realize is it is not a matter of their teams not wanting to follow them, it’s a matter of the team having the clarity to be able to fully embrace the vision so they can follow. If the team did not want to follow the leader the team would not be there.

On the other hand, if the team is there but is not moving with you then you’re not really leading. It’s as John Maxwell says, “If you think you are leading, but you look behind you and no one is following then you are only taking a walk.” Hopefully this is not the case. In most cases it is not. In most cases the team is desperately looking to be led so they can better lead others.

The fact that you have a team following you is a direct reflection of the reality that they ultimately want what you want. It is your job as the leader to continue to build influence in their lives, consistently establish credibility, and allow them to contribute to the process of envisioning with you. One of the primary ways this happens is questioning.

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