Momentum Podcast: 221

Vision Without a Plan Destroys Trust

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

What do your team members actually hear when you talk about your vision? There are far too many people and books that tell you that if you have a vision that your team will figure it out. Are you hiding from your team?

Full Audio Transcript

I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trail blazers, shot takers, records breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how.

While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority. The few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution, and we always will be. Vision without a plan destroys trust.

This week up in Boise, I got to connect with a bunch of different entrepreneurs that growing teams really fast. You know, I've said this before. With click funnels, it is such an accelerator of sales and marketing. It shows entrepreneurs a way to conquer sales and marketing with very little staff and very little organizational drag. As a result, the click funnel's ecosystem if full of entrepreneurs that are doubling million dollar-plus companies. This weekend I spoke to somebody who had about 1.5 I think, and his company's now going to do 2.8, which is ... that's crazy fast growth. For perspective, only 3% of companies ever hit a million. He and I started talking. I asked him, "Tell me, what is your communication system plan with your team? What system do you use? How do you talk to them when you share with them?"

He said, "Well, it's pretty clear. I cast a vision once a week because I don't really like to meet with the team more than once a week. That's all I see, and it's only about 15 to 20 minutes. I give them high level where we're going to go, what we're going to do, how it's going to be, how we're going to hit $5 million. Then, I do most of my communication one-on-one with a couple members of my team and they communicate with everybody else for me. I have so much to do right now to figure out where we're going to go as a company that that's all I can take right now. I don't really talk to them any more than that."

I thought, well, here's what I can tell you about hearing that. On the other side for the team members in that company, it's an absolute complete and total nightmare. The guy standing in front of me didn't even know it, because here's the challenge, is that so many entrepreneurs have been taught that as long as you just keep talking about the vision, your team will work things out. Well, I'm telling you something, that's wrong. That's BS. That's one of the biggest lies told in business. In fact, when you talk about your team or talk to your team about your vision and there isn't a plan, you actually give them anxiety. There's no clear win. It makes it harder for them. In fact, when you talk about your vision and where you're going to go and this big destination, it only gets your team feeling like they're going to lose. It only feels intimidating to your team, and after a while, inevitably they start rolling their eyes because when you come and tell they're going to do something but you don't tell them how, they feel like you are making it up.

The challenge is that far too many consultants out there and way too many books have this misconception that as long as the entrepreneur has a vision that they can keep alive in their head, somehow their team is going to figure it out. I want you to know that is how you build a human sausage grinder for you and for everyone in your company. You just can't do it. I called the guy out this weekend. I mean, I'm blunt. I can't hold back. When I see an entrepreneur in pain, I heard pain in what he said. I call him out and tell him exactly where they're missing. I said, "You know what, man? Here's the challenge. You're hiding from your team, and you're not telling what's really going on. That you're not actually talking to your team, and what you're doing is you're getting in front of them for 20 minutes and telling them your dream, and you don't even know how you're going to get there, so it's just all fake."

He looked at me and he was like, "What do you mean? You're blowing me away here. I've been told that I need to tell the team the vision. I've gotten really good at talking about the vision." I'm like, "Yeah, I know." Because again, so many people have been convinced that if they talk about the vision, things are going to work, but here's the ... let me give you the ... Here's what happens. When you cast the vision, you come in and you say, "Hey, we're at 2.8, and we're going to get to five, and it's going to be so much better, and this is all the stuff that's going to happen. Here's how we're going to serve our customers. It's going to be so much better. The culture's going to improve. Here's where we're going." Then, if there's no plan, they have anxiety. You will actually create physical anxiety amongst your team, and they will not have a clear win.

When a team doesn't have a win or a plan, they can't see what do to next, so they get into paralysis. If they don't know what to do next, they won't. Then, what starts happening is entrepreneurs say, "Well, I don't think my team is doing enough. I know they could be doing more." Well, of course they could be doing more. They don't know what they need to be doing because all you're doing is talking about your vision, which nobody can freaking see from where you're standing. The problem is when you cast your vision, you create a huge target, and you don't have a plan. You create anxiety. Then, when there's no focus, the team can't create the maximum velocity that every entrepreneur wants, and let's be really honest, every one of us expects.

The challenge is is if you're not giving your team a clear forward planning system where you're saying, "Here's where we're going. These are the outcomes. This is what we're going to do to get there. Here's who's accountable for what. Here are the scoreboards we're looking at." Then, it's your responsibility for how slow things are going, and you should stop casting your vision, because telling how things are going to get better without giving them a plan is crazy. It's crazy. You can't just motivate. You actually have to show people where you're going. If you don't know, then you make figuring it out part of the plan. When you don't have focus, everyone is going to do their best, but it's never going to feel good enough. When you don't know where you're really going, your entire team is going to seem like they're off because they are.

When your team doesn't really know what you want and it's not really clear, then they are going to think ... or they're not going to know what they should do, and here's the biggest one. What I identified immediately with the person that I was taking to in Boise was that he was in pain. I said, "How long have you been hiding from your team?" He looked at me funny. I said, "Come on, man. If you're only talking to your team 20 minutes a week, you're hiding from them. If you're having individual meetings with each of your leadership team but there's no team meeting, then you're literally making yourself monkey in the middle on purpose. If you're talking to one person at a time and you're not letting everybody collaborate at the same time, usually that's because entrepreneurs don't want to because there's a feeling of discomfort with not having all the answers."

Here's one of the most glorious parts of an entrepreneur's career. It's that point where we figure out definitively that not only do we not have all the answers, but it's not even our job to have all of the answers. Getting through this lesson in business of understanding the, you don't need to have all of the answers. That when you don't know an answer, it becomes part of the plan for your team to help you figure it out, that's how everything starts moving in an entirely new direction. I know. I can tell you this because on my own I have a hard time doing a lot of things. When I have a team and I say, "Here's the outcome I want," I look super human. People say all the time, "How are you everywhere? How is it that you have social media exposure that you do? How do you get as much as you done? How do you post so much?"

I do all of that through the power of the team, but it's a team where we say here are the outcomes we want. Here is the plan to get there and exactly what each person is responsible for. Here are the scoreboards we're going to use to measure success along the way. As a result, we knock it out of the park, and then we go straight at our client-centric mission. Ours is we change the lives of visionary entrepreneurs who can't turn it off and want to make a contribution just as much as they want to make a living. We do this by creating the systems and frameworks that help them build multi-million dollar empires, and the change we want to make is entrepreneurs lean into their strengths, and we will know we're successful when entrepreneurs build multi-million dollar companies and leave their dent in the universe.

That's where out team is going. That's what we want to do. When I tell them that and then we figure out our one-year objectives and our quarterly targets and our 30-day goals and our weekly commitments, and then each day we have our huddle. Our team pushes so hard on a daily basis. Our small team gets more done than I guarantee you some massive companies with three or four times as many people as we do, because there's such an incredibly high commitment level, but more importantly because there's intense clarity around where the focus should be, what the next priority should be, what everyone's doing, and what we all need to do to be successful. It's not from me talking about my vision. It's from me giving my team all of the tools that they need to be successful.

If you're ready to do the same thing, go to, answer a few questions for us, and you'll have an opportunity to book a call with a member of my team. They can collect some initial information from you, then let you know the options we have available, where we can help you create the system and structure you need to scale a multi-million dollar empire. If you've created an opportunity that's bigger than you can deliver today, then you owe it to yourself to reach out to us. Let us show you how to build a team that will help you reach the velocity and the contribution you've always wanted to make.

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