We cast our line out into the shallow water from our pontoon boat and waited. It was our first real cast of the day and I was hoping that my grandsons would experience the joy of catching their first fish without too much hassle. I wouldn’t consider myself an expert fisherman by any means, but I knew the thrill of catching a fish would etch a memory in their minds that could last a lifetime.
Then, it happened. Just a few minutes after we had put our wormed line into the summer shallows, our fishing poles bent under the weight of something pulling at our hooks; I was certain we had caught ourselves a fish!
Vision casting can be a lot like fishing. As leaders, it’s important that we take the time to put the vision into words and cast it out. We know that life with vision is powerful while life without vision is perishing (Proverbs 29:18). With vision, people excel beyond the norm and do what they could not otherwise do.
"life with vision is powerful while life without vision is perishing."
Whether or not the vision you cast lands in the right place and is set up for a win is determined by the following factors:
- What you say
- When you say it
- Who you say it to
- How you say it
Choose what you say:
Before you get to the moment when you are casting vision, take some time to decide what you’re going to say. By knowing what you want to say ahead of time, you will communicate more clearly and be able to tap into more passion as you say the words.
Questions to consider:
- Do you have a mission statement you want to wrap a thought around?
- Do you want to illustrate one of your organization’s values or methods with a specific example or story?
- When was the last time you communicated vision intentionally?
- What words will help you create the right tone in this meeting or conversation?
- What are the whys that drive the tasks in your organization you need to communicate?
Choose when you say it:
Sometimes the vision is cast during a gathering like a team meeting or intentional huddle. It’s almost as if you are announcing to the team, “This is the vision: listen, learn, and apply it!” in lit-up letters like a Broadway marquee. Other times, vision casting happens during informal and ongoing conversations that can help move a team member forward in their understanding of culture.
Factors to Consider:
- How often has the vision been communicated?
- Do we need to hold a formal meeting monthly or quarterly to get team members on the same page?
- How can I have more intentionality during informal conversations to cast vision outside of formal settings?
Choose who you say it to:
While it may seem counterintuitive, not everyone needs to hear you cast vision in the same way or at the same time. Some people on your team will catch the vision you cast during an informal hallway conversation. Other people on your team need you to get out the proverbial megaphone and get their attention first by announcing, “YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS, HERE COMES VISION.” There are different groups of people in your workplace or volunteer organization to consider when you’re choosing who you cast vision to. In some cases, you may be the best voice to communicate the vision. Some groups benefit from hearing the vision directly from the top-level leader, other groups will buy in better if they hear it directly from their team lead or supervisor.
Choose how you say it:
How you say it is just as important as what you say and when you say it. In fact, the tone of our voice can sometimes overpower the actual words we are saying. This definitely applies when it comes to casting vision. If our goal is to inspire passion in others, we need to be passionate when we communicate! As often as possible, decide beforehand what kind of tone you want to have as you are casting vision.
Here are some tones of voice to consider:
- Motivator – passionate and inspiration
- Educator – practical and informational
- Coach – assertive and directional
- Colleague – informal and conversational
The culprit behind most of the issues in our organizations is a lack of vision. Without vision, people live aimlessly and sometimes even lethargically. Not only should we celebrate life with vision–we need to be scared to live without it. Vision lifts the lid, breaks the barrier, and inspires others to achieve what is otherwise impossible!
"Vision lifts the lid and breaks the barrier."
Get to casting vision in your teams and organization. Cast it out so people will catch it by choosing what you say, when you say it, who you say it to and how you say it.
P.S. For those who want to know, my grandsons and I did actually catch a fish that day. We celebrated and enjoyed the moment together!