When the vision needs to get legs the wild horse attacks the confidence. With the insecurities of the followers the vision starts to become overwhelming and the followers might seem unwilling. If the leader is not careful within this setting the wild horse within him/her might sound the alarms of rebellion and cause him/her to throw accusations towards the team that cause even greater feelings of inadequacy. This would result in more confidence erosion and even greater drops in effectiveness.
Due to the above the team could easily disengage from the vision and fall back into the old way of doing things in which they felt confident. It is far easier for the team to call the change initiative a leader driven initiative that was never theirs and from there disengage. In this way they have “saved” their own concept. The “attacks” from their leader now only reflects the “badness” of the leader and sets them free from any guilt to the eminent failure to live the vision.
The leader on the other hand starts to have the wild horse that tells him/her that the vision might have been irrational and that the drive towards it might cause things to go even worse. The leader therefore disengages and also is tempted to fall back into the old ways of doing things.
It is important to remind oneself of the fact that human beings tend to feel loss when confronted with change and that they tend to revert back to the known because they unconsciously or consciously believe that would result in them regaining competence. With this knowledge the leader could realise that the “resistance” that they experience from their followers is actually not resistance but a feeling of incompetence. Armed with this insight the leader can empower the team more by expressing verbally his/her confidence in their ability and assisting with prompts towards solutions.
Another practical step to take is to create a reminder of the excitement experienced when the vision was penned. This could be in a variety of shapes and forms. Some organisations use banners and posters – when using these one must make sure that the connection to that is reinforced since these easily blend into the background and could easily be forgotten. Some organisations opt for individual reminders which are easier to keep in remembrance although these could have varying effects. If the reminder can be referred to frequently and is consistently visual it tends to keep the excitement going. One of the most effective reminders I have come across is a soft animal toy that was rotated in the office and given to individuals that “lived” the vision great on a weekly basis. This team managed to build in an element of recognition, remembrance and fun into the reminder.
Image courtesy of Helloquence: unsplash.com/photos/OQMZwNd3ThU