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Say It Convincingly
Once a leader knows exactly where he is heading, the next essential is to be able to communicate the vision convincingly to those he would like to have along on the journey. There are a variety of ways this can be done, but it must be done, or else he will be making the trip by himself.
Sugar Water or Changing the World?
Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple Inc., was trying very hard, but with little success, to recruit John Sculley to the vision that he clearly saw. Jobs was exasperated, and in his frustration he asked one more question, the one that finally caused John Sculley to make one of the most talked-about corporate moves in modern American business. He asked, "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?" Sculley said it was as if someone had delivered a stiff blow to his stomach. The question eroded all his resistance and made him think like a dreamer or a visionary.
He subsequently left Pepsi Cola and joined Apple. "After all," Sculley mused, "changing the world is a heady thought." In a few words, Jobs had said it convincingly. He had conveyed his vision, the essence of his dream, in words that Sculley could understand—to have a part in changing the world.
In order to recruit and keep motivated followers, a vision must be convincingly and constantly communicated in a myriad of ways. One of the key roles of an effective leader is to manage the dream of the organization, and to keep that dream alive through verbalization, symbols, and visuals.