What Is Your Vision?
By Drue Lawlor, FASID
Director of Coaching, Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting
“Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there.”
John P. Kotter
A “vision” has been described as “seeing your desired future as though it was already here.” Without a vision statement for your business, it is impossible to develop effective business planning. It has been said that your vision statement provides the destination for the journey, and without a destination in mind, how can you plan the route? It would be like getting into your car with no destination in mind.
If you have not developed a vision statement, then definitely move it to the top of your priorities. I would guess that you have some idea of what you would like to accomplish in your business but if you don’t clearly define that vision, then how can you map out a plan to make it a reality? You need to sit down and develop a clear statement of that vision.
Dare to dream! A vision has also been described as “A view of the world the way you would like it to be, not necessarily the way it is.” Focus on your mission statement and then visualize where your business will be in five years. What will your firm have accomplished?
If you are having trouble with your visualization of the future of your business, use your imagination (after all, interior designers are known for their creativity!), and imagine that you, as the CEO of your firm, are being profiled in the media. Then think about what it would be for which your firm is being recognized? You may end up with quite a list of accomplishments, so then take those and begin to pare them down to identify the most important accomplishment of your future firm.
Once you have created your vision statement it is crucial that you are sure it is the vision that is most important to you, as if you don’t fully believe in it, you won’t be able to fully commit to it, nor will your team, and developing it will have been a waste of your time.
You also need to take action to be sure that your vision becomes reality and one of the most important things you need to do is to keep that vision alive. Make sure that your entire team is on board and that it is prominently displayed in your office so that everyone on the team sees it daily.
Keeping that vision alive is also important to be sure it is “planted” in your brain so strongly that it overcomes those negative thoughts that sometimes try to creep in or the bumps in the road on the way to seeing that vision realized.
Finally, remember that an effective vision statement is long-term and broad without being too generic. It is for your team and your culture – not for selling what you offer. It is something you aim to achieve and should be short, clear, focused and easy to remember as well as to understand.