Successful leaders understand the best way to drive change is to create a vision for the future that has enough emotional appeal to give it power.

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It’s January 31, time enough for most of our New Year’s resolutions to have been beaten back by the hammer of old habits. This article offers an alternative way to think about how to drive change, both in ourselves and in our business. The alternative way is about creating an emotional vision. “By making the vision clear enough to feel, you give it power.”

According to Joshua Freedman, “Most New Year’s Resolutions are grounded in fear and failure. They’re about what’s wrong with us…they’re absolute…and we set impossibly high bars…Then, when we experience failure, we intensify our sense of failure. ‘Not only am I overweight, I can’t even keep a simple New Year’s Resolution.’Sound familiar?

So, what should we do?“Instead of focusing on what’s wrong and inadequacy, what if we focus on what we most want in the world?””Neuroscientist David Eagleman talks about this process of making a deal with our future selves. Essentially, he says that emotions motivate our action, and if the emotions pushing us to option A are more powerful, we do that. But if we want to get to option B, we need to turn up the emotional energy — increase the ‘valence’ of that vision.” In other words, “Increase the emotional energy of the future vision so it’s more powerful than the old triggers.”

The article provides ways to help you increase the emotional energy of your future state.

To lead successful business change, we know a leader must develop the vision for the future and communicate it to the rest of the organization. The future must be described in such a way that people can buy into it with both their heads and their hearts. The vision must become so real that people can see and feel it. Without this strong emotional pull, it is difficult for people to wholly commit to or sustain the vision.

“Turning up the emotional energy and increasing the valence of the vision” is what successful change leaders do.

Contact us and we can help you and your employees devise ways to increase the energy and the valence of your vision.