Let’s face it, you don’t know what you don’t know. And when you do know, you’re often surprised. I remember how surprised I was when I saw the effect of a simple statement. I’m talking about the impact of discovering our vision statement. At the time, I did not realize the importance it played in communicating the direction of our company to our people internally and to our customers and suppliers externally.
My company had just gone through a successful quality improvement exercise where we gained 100’s and 100’s of ideas to improve our service to our customers. And we were rolling out a new innovative business offering from my moving and storage company.
A good friend of mine was consulting us on this new business offering one day and very calmly said, “We are revolutionizing the way people move.”
I immediately said, “That is it!” And he looked at me like, “What is it?”
I said “That is our vision statement, Revolutionizing the Way People Move!”
When we talk about a vision statement, we are talking about the future that you envision for your organization. Have you thought about your future?
What is your destiny?
Where will you be in five years? Or 10, or even 30 years?
Of course, no matter how hard you search, no one can answer that question with absolute certainty.
But I am certain of this: The journey toward your destiny always begins with a vision. And vision is the roadmap to your destiny, the picture of your purpose.
Without it, you may find yourself off course — or worse, going nowhere.
So dream big…bigger…even bigger – because it is your dream, and the dream you dream will define the life that you live!
So what does a vision statement looks like, and how do you prepare one?
Every leader can cast a vision by following these three simple steps.
1. Thoroughly understand the criteria
If you observe the following conditions, it will prepare you to cast an excellent vision statement.
Let’s first start with what a vision statement is NOT:
- About money (revenue or profit). Money only gets temporary movement – it is not enough to actually motivate your employees. People will work harder for meaning than for money.
- Hard to understand and convoluted
- Impossible to remember
Now let’s look at what a vision statement IS:
- Preserves your core values and purpose (which never change) and stimulates progress (which is always changing).
- Vibrant and engaging
- Visual image/picture
- Huge, daunting, exhilarating challenge to reach
- Clear, compelling, and easy to grasp
- People “get it” right away
- Serves as a unifying focal point
- Galvanizing people
- Catalyzes and creates a team spirit as people strive toward it
- Expresses passion, intensity, emotion, and conviction for living it out
- WOW! Factor and fantastic to make it happen
- People want to be really part of and willing to put out significant effort to realize it
- Energizing and exciting to a broad base of people not just the executive team
- Will require a quantum step in capabilities and characteristics of the organization
- Leaders are 100% committed to it
2. Vividly describe your vision
Use words to clearly describe your vision, so that you and your employees can explain the vision statement to all stakeholders (e.g. employees, customers, suppliers, investors).
Vividly describe your accomplishments as though you have been asked to write an article 15 years from now for an international publication about an award you have received for accomplishing your vision…
- What has been your unique impact on the marketplace?
- What are your customers experiencing? Why are they saying “WOW” to describe your service?
- What have these achievements meant to your employees? How do they feel?
- What competencies and systems have you developed?
- What are your suppliers saying about your accomplishments? And why?
3. Collaboratively record your vision
After you have reviewed the criteria and written a vivid description, as an empowering leader, you should involve and seek input from your employees. It is important to ask for this input at the very beginning of the casting vision statement process and before stating the final version of the vision statement. A good way to determine whom to include in this process is to…
Ask yourself these three key questions:
1. Who can help me write a better vision statement?
2. Who will have to carry it out?
3. Who will be impacted by it?
Then involve those people by using group exercises to brainstorm two, three, or five snippets from the vivid description. When you sincerely seek your people’s input, your people have a better understanding of and commitment to the vision that you collaboratively set.
Furthermore, when employees are involved in the development/creation of a clear, concise vision statement, they take pride in the achievement of the vision.
The vision statement as discovered and defined by my moving and storage company was Revolutionizing the Way People Move!
And we truly lived it out. Just ask about my company’s reputation in our industry over the past 20 years.
What is your destiny? Is now the time to clearly define your vision and ask your people to help? Click <here> to share your thoughts and pass this blog post to your friends and co-workers.