How's Your Vision?
I remember when I first realized I needed to get my vision checked. I was about 28 years old and I was driving home on the interstate at night. I began to realize that I couldn’t read any of the words on the signs until I was right on them, sometimes too late to actually read them. I also noticed that every light that I saw actually appeared to be three lights in the shape of a triangle. I thought to myself, “this isn’t normal”. I did what any other rational person would do, and I put it off. It wasn’t until I started getting headaches that I finally pulled the trigger and saw an optometrist. It appears that even though I had 20/20 vision for my entire life up to that point, my eyes had decided to change, specifically the shape of my cornea had changed causing astigmatism in both eyes. The good news is that the condition is easily fixed with corrective lenses.
Once my new lenses had arrived, I went back to the optometrist for a fitting to confirm that they corrected my vision. 20/20 again! It is hard to believe what we can take for granted when things are out of focus. My world was in clear view again, and I was ready to go out and conquer, that is until I almost fell off of the sidewalk while walking to my car. The Dr. had told me that it may take some time for me to get adjusted to my new vision. What that turned out to mean is that my brain had figured out depth perception based on what I had been seeing, and now with my new corrected lenses my depth perception was off quite a bit. It took a week or so, but eventually everything clicked and I was 100%.
So, what’s the point of this? You don’t care that I wear glasses or contacts, so why am I wasting your time? My point is this, you wouldn’t continue to go through your personal life with your vision out of focus, so why would you go through your professional life with your vision out of focus? I have worked with many companies who struggle with this very issue. Business is booming, the potential for growth seems to be limitless, but there is no clear direction into the future. There doesn’t seem to be a single underlying goal or target that aligns the different business units. Just like when I was trying to read the road signs and struggling to see them before it was too late, companies have a difficult time seeing the signs of business direction because their focus isn’t clear.
What is your Vision Statement? Do you have one, personally or professionally? I don’t want this to be confused with a Mission Statement. I see a Mission Statement as a “Current State” summary of what you do, how you do it, and why it is done. The Vision Statement should be the “Future State”, the target that you are trying to achieve. It should be the underlying motive behind the decisions that you or a company takes and should unite the business units within the organization under a single direction.
Let’s start with the basics. Where do you want to be in the next 5 years? Are you looking for aggressive growth, or do you want to maintain and focus on improving customer satisfaction, maybe both? It is critical that the stakeholders are involved with forming the Vision Statement of the Company. The reason is that if the key stakeholders are not bought in on the Vision in its conception, it will be much more difficult to sell the Vision after the fact. Get alignment on what your long-term goals are, and set a timeline for when you want to achieve them. Start crafting a draft that describes that future state. Be creative and use terms or words that bring excitement to your team. Afterall, it is intended to be a motivation for you, so craft it for you. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. Get your team together and hash it out.
Need some inspiration? Here are some great examples of Vision Statements from some companies you may recognize:
- “To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.” – Southwest Air
- “Our vision is to create a better every-day life for many people.” – IKEA
- “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)” – Nike
- “A world without Alzheimer’s disease.” – Alzheimer’s Association
- “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” – Patagonia
And last but not least, here is our Vision Statement at The Effective Syndicate:
- “To be the Visionary Juggernaut that develops and drives the future of highly effective organizations.” – The Effective Syndicate
So how did we come up with this? The answer is simple, we sat as a team and laid out our Vision for what we wanted The Effective Syndicate to be. Everyone had input and we kept everything on the table for discussion. Once we had an understanding of where we wanted to be, we started trying to put that feeling and drive into words. What our Vision statement means to me is as follows: We want to be Visionaries in our industry. We will not accept the status quo as an expectation for success, we will push the limits of what organizations believe is possible and show them how effective they can really become. We set higher expectations on ourselves and our business. Why Juggernaut? Well, for starters, whenever we say the word Juggernaut now, it makes us all smile and instantly brings us back to the moment of conception for our Vision. Secondly, it means that we intend to be unstoppable. Yes, we may have setbacks, but we will not be stopped in our pursuit of perfection.
Need some help crafting your Vision? We would love to help you on your journey to awesomeness. Follow us on Social Media for insights on how to put your best foot forward. Check us out at www.TheEffectiveSyndicate.com for more information on how to become more effective in everything you do.