Building the Pharaoh’s pyramid involved tens of thousands of individuals from across the kingdom.
Conscription didn’t exist in ancient Egypt and the Pharaoh couldn’t take it for granted that his subjects would sign-up to the new journey.
It’s perhaps fair to say that whilst many people may have liked the idea of embarking on an inspirational, exciting and adventurous journey – out of personal loyalty to the Pharaoh – the majority of people would have preferred to receive a more concrete (excuse the pun) outline of what may lie ahead on the journey before making a decision.
Producing a compelling vision statement explaining the adventure ahead was identified early on as important to attracting talent and inspiring others to play a personal part in the construction of the pyramid.
In an age where social media and satellite TV didn’t exist, but where the public grapevine could inspire others or spell disaster for the Pharaoh’s recruitment officer, the vision statement was the document used to communicate detailed information about the journey.
The document would have been available to a select band of high officials, village representatives and important influencers in the kingdom. Egyptian people would have been expected to remember the main themes from their presentations.
It was therefore vitally important that the vision document was compelling in terms of its content, language and visuals used.
Memory would play a key part in spreading the word to others regarding the importance of the Pharaoh’s journey.
The Pharaoh’s vision would have included extracts such as this:
Our overall ‘vision’ is to create for our Pharaoh and the Kingdom of Egypt a monument, which will transport our King to the heavens above where he will meet our Sun God Osiris in the New World……………….. Our plan is to construct the perfect pyramid. …………It will be a truly impressive monument and a testament to the design and construction expertise of the people of Egypt……………………Future generations will visit the Pharaoh’s tomb and will marvel at the ingenuity and workmanship……………..We aim to maintain the unique Egyptian cultural and construction traditions within the structure…………… Every person in Egypt will play their part in its construction – at the quarry, on the pyramid site, in the deserts, the villages and by the banks of the Nile…..The Pyramid will be known throughout the kingdom as a place to worship and a place at which to feel proud……………. On the journey to completion, our people will be supported in every way possible ……………… Dedication, passion and teamwork will describe the core values ……The measurement of the nation’s success will be the successful transportation of our Pharaoh from the Old World to the New World and the pride and satisfaction from each Egyptian, knowing that they played their part in his onward journey.
The development of a compelling vision is arguably the most important task the leadership team in modern-day organisations will ever carry out.
The vision document should highlight the destination, purpose, workplace experience, challenges involved, support issued and the measure of success.
It should be simple, ambitious, compelling and inspiring.
This makes it easier to recruit and retain talented people on the journey.
Involving people in its development guarantees a high level of commitment at the start of the journey.
Get the vision right and people will flock to join the organisation and sign-up to the journey.
Making it as visually attractive to others is also useful.
Pharaohs understood the importance and power of the verbal word supported by the visual interpretation of the journey.
The same principles apply to leaders in modern-day organisations.
Best wishes on your journey, wherever it may take you.