Vision from Below
The problem with a traditional hierarchy is that everything gets passed down the line. When things move only from top to bottom, they reinforce old concepts of managing people. The organization never gets the synergy and help that comes from all the team members being completely engaged. To remedy this, you need to include a return path for everything, including vision.
Always pushing ideas and concepts down and never letting any bubble up is like constantly breathing in and never out. Toxins build up in the organizational bloodstream, doing great damage, and all you have to show for it is a lot of hot air.
Vision is a companion to direction — the connection between what needs to be done and why it needs to be done. But as anyone who has spent time in a hierarchical organization can tell you, when direction comes only from above, it quickly becomes ineffective. Experience on the front lines can provide critical information and clues about whether an organization's direction is working or if some collective is headed serenely and resolutely into a brick wall.
Make time on a regular basis to hear feedback from team members. Using open-ended questions, ask about their experiences and how they see their accomplishments interacting with the principles and bigger objectives. Stress that this is not a secret form of performance evaluation, and bring up your own concerns about where things might be going off track. If there are problems that people can see developing, it's better to know them now and to take steps while it's still be possible rather than to bury your head in the sand.
Sometimes the most important information will come when you're least expecting it. Be sensitive to what people say around you, both directly through words and indirectly in body language and action. When you see signs that what people are being asked to do is not meshing well with the overall direction of the group and organization, ask about it.
When asking questions, you keep in mind that this is a learning process for all and not an interrogation. People will open up to the former while hiding from the latter.
Building the Upward Ladder
The bigger and more complex your team or group, the more isolated you can become from the people who compose it. In such cases, you need to create mechanisms to ensure that communication can occur from the bottom to the top of the organization. In those answering directly to you, instill a discipline of ensuring personal vision and its transmission upwards. Regularly hear what these people are learning, and make the lessons learned available to all. That's taking the information that percolates up and disseminating it out and down again, so it helps enrich everyone's experience.