Research finds that a leader’s vision is an indisputable and essential element in the DNA of successful organizations. Interestingly, a recent study found that vision originated in the leader’s mind immediately, or shortly after, their appointment as team leader (Vallee & Bloom, 2005). Early on, leaders worked to change past philosophies, set higher standards and goals, and lead the team in a new direction.

A second critical element in creating an empowering vision is that all team members buy into the vision.  Member buy-in is foundational to achieving team success.  No buy-in, no success.

To gain buy-in, leaders first assessed each team member’s potential and then created a mental model for individual and collective accomplishment. On winning teams, every member feels they play an important role and make a meaningful contribution to team culture and achievement.

The mental model constructed on member attributes and potential is influenced, in part, by the leader’s personal characteristics. An influential leader’s vision is shaped by their personal characteristics, which then guides the individual development and contribution of team members. The leader’s qualities blend with the members’ attributes to determine precisely how the vision is created, presented, organized, and sold to the team members. The research found that team members commit to the vision when they identify with their role in the vision and believed in and trusted their leader.


Valle, C., & Bloom, G. (2005).  Building a successful University program: Key and common elements of expert coachesJournal Of Applied Sport Psychology, 17: 179–196.