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3 Reasons Your People Aren't Jumping On Board With Your Initiatives

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

How to Get Their Wholehearted Buy-In

Let's admit it, as leaders we often show up with programs and tactics out of the blue and expect people to connect the dots on how they relate to what they are already doing. If you struggle to get people to jump in on initiatives you come up with, the following may be three reasons why.

1. No Sense of Purpose When people don't know why you are asking them to do what you are asking them to do, they are often not motivated to do it. This is especially if they already have a lot on their plates or you have a tendency of popping up with random ideas and activities for them to engage in. They may simply be overwhelmed. Start at the beginning and show them why what you are asking of them is important. Reiterate to them the purpose of your company, the department and or function, their position, and finally this initiative. Show them how it all ties together then make you ask (as long as you haven't overwhelmed them with other, or are ready to relieve them of other things). Need help explaining purpose? Watch the video below on discovering purpose. Although it speaks to individuals, it is transferable to organizations.

2. Vague Destination

"What does success look like?"

While it is important for you to know the answer to this question. It is crucial that your people do too.

Sometimes people are so busy with the daily details of getting things done that they lose sight of what it will look like once they have accomplished it successfully.

Maybe the road so far has been long and tough and people cannot see past the daily grind. If it feels like your new ideas are met with mehs, it may be a sign that your people are exhausted. They may feel like they are spinning their wheels like a hamster in a cage and getting nowhere.

Take time out of work to play; Paint a postcard picture of what success looks like. Describe the destination in colorful detail showing exactly what it will look like when your people, department, organization, and all its stakeholders get there.

This is your vision.

Get creative, create a clear picture of this vision, then make it big and visible for everyone to see, hear, and reflect on even as they carry on with their daily work. You can even set a day or week to amplify and celebrate your vision. It will give your people the Vitamin V (for Vision) boost they need to get on board and support your cause.

Need help creating a vision?

Watch the video below on casting a vision.

3. No Direction

Remember the days when people drew maps to direct you to venues?

You probably remember that some people were really good at drawing straightforward maps that had just the right details to lead you to your destination. Others seemed not to be as gifted in this direction mapping skill and you more often than not got lost following their direction and may have even abandoned the effort altogether.

As a leader, you may have your purpose and vision clear and compellingly communicated but without a roadmap that takes your people from purpose to destination, everyone will still be lost.

Lost people who have been traveling for a long time are not motivated to want to try any new path.

They are more likely to want to turn back or jump ship than continue with a journey with no clear direction or map.

You may think or even know what you have people doing is part of a great plan to a grand destination, but if your people cannot see and be able to follow a roadmap, they are as good as walking blindly to your encouragement to "keep going".

Compliment purpose and vision with a mission roadmap that shows how each activity is a step in the right direction. Chart the distance traveled thus far with 'you are here' pins, celebrate milestones reached, and energize your troops to stay the course until you reach your short, medium, and long-term goals.

When the roadmap is clear, you won't need to beg people to jump on board. They will take ownership and even rally others to join them as they together push forward to the finish line. Equipped with a roadmap, they won't need you to tell them which way to go, they can follow the map themselves and meet you at the top.

Need help to chart a roadmap?

Watch the video below on embarking on your mission and the one that follows on Modesta Mahiga YouTube Channel on how to chart it as a roadmap.

“All you need is the plan, the roadmap, and the courage to press on to your destination.”

-Earl Nightingale.

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