Spelling Out the Vision Statement


In my last post I suggested that leaders provide their organizations with vision. While managers work on the day-to-day details, leaders need to be looking ahead and have a compelling vision and then also continually beat the drum about their vision. 

Leaders use vision to elevate, motivate and set direction. But what is a vision? What does it look like?


Vision is a statement of what you want your organization to be. It sets forth a picture of where you want to go and how you want to get there. It is simple to understand, inspirational, focusing and the good ones speak to something greater that's outside the organization.

It’s critical that vision statements focus attention on far-away aims with which everyone can identify. Crafting such a statement means that it will become a deep, abiding belief or rallying point that deeply touches the hearts and souls of everyone in the organization.

It’s also critical that vision statements add value to others and focus on the organization’s strategic advantages. This does two things, first, it helps employees identify with a cause greater than themselves. Work becomes a calling for them rather than a job. Secondly, there’s no sense kidding yourself that you can do something that’s outside the organization’s competence. So, as Tom Peters often said, “stick to your knitting,” and focus on what you can do better than anyone else.

When developing a vision, think about these questions:

  1. How can our organization add value to others?
  2. How can our employees feel called to doing something greater than themselves?
  3. What are our core competencies or marked advantages?
  4. What about our vision distinguishes us from our competition? What breaks us out of the pack? How does it effect customers?
  5. Can you state your vision in six words?

When working with leaders organizations should:

  1. Be careful to let leaders lead and managers manage.
  2. Give leaders flexibility to set their vision and then carry it out.
  3. Make sure there is alignment within multiple departments or departments to the main organizational vision.

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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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