When the Romans came to speak with the slaves, they asked who was Spartacus, and Spartacus immediately stood up and stated that he was Spartacus. After he did this, every man stood up as well as said that he was Spartacus, and every man was crucified for this. The point that Senge was trying to make was that Spartacus, as a leader, was able to transmit a shared vision to which every slave was committed, and this vision was that they all should be free. Because he was able to do this for his men, they literally would die for him (Senge, 1990, pp. 205-206).
So, how does a leader inspire this same sort of loyalty? By creating a shared vision. A shared vision is one that the leader envisions, and every follower envisions the same thing. Each person in the organization has a picture in their heads about this vision, and this vision is in their hearts, a part of each and every person. Each person cares about this vision, and desire to be connected to everybody else in carrying out this vision. In other words, it is not just the leader conjuring up a vision for the organization, and transmitting the vision, essentially imposing his vision on others. It is the leader transmitting this vision in such a way that every member of the organization has the same vision, therefore will be truly committed to make the vision happen (Senge, 1990, p. 206). How this shared vision comes into being, along with ideas on making this happen that are the ideas of other researchers and writers, is the topic of this paper.
The first factor in creating a shared vision is by acknowledging the strengths of individual members, and by acknowledging each individual members personal vision of the organization at its best (Senge, 1990, p. 212). Essential to this is composing a team, as opposed to a group. Plenart (1995) tells the story of team building in Malaysia. His team was composed of a mix of Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus who, initially, did not understand one