Would you ever set out on a weekend vacation without a destination? It sounds silly, but no one would choose to wander aimlessly during a weekend set aside for rest and enjoyment. You would choose a destination, plug the address into your smart-phone, and purposefully drive to the location previously decided. In the same way, every business needs a vision statement.
It is essential for your organization to have a vision that all staff members and customers recognize as a common direction of purpose and growth. Your vision statement will serve as something to inspire them. A corporate vision announces where you are heading and why they should take the journey with you.
Without a vision, there is a lack of direction. Proverbs 29:18 tells us that “without a vision the people perish.” If we are to steward our time and resources well, it is wise to create a powerful vision statement for our businesses. So, how do you create a vision statement? Walk through the following principles and download the cheatsheet at the end of the post to create your own!
How to Create a Powerful Vision Statement
Decide Where You Want to Go
If you don’t have an agreed-on destination, every individual associated with your company is going to make up his or her own. Instead of having an employee pursuing the common vision, you have an employee who decides to implement his own vision. That could have a negative impact on your business. Unharnessed and unfocused efforts lead to disorder.
A common understanding of the destination allows everyone involved to align their efforts. And the best part of planning for this journey by creating a vision statement is that it doesn’t cost anything to decide where you want to go. This should be fun and exciting, not tiresome and discouraging.
Hear me on this: one of the most important responsibilities of any leader is establishing a vision and inviting others to share in its development.
Involve Your Team in the Planning
Because establishing a vision is crucial for your business, you should bounce your ideas around before putting them on paper. Ask people you trust to listen and brainstorm with you. Your current employees or team-members are the best people for this task! If you are at the point in your business of having employees or partners, process your vision with them.
This means that it’s time to buy them a meal, pull out some large pieces of paper, and get brainstorming. Allow everyone the opportunity to speak and contribute. And be careful not to squash someone’s ideas. You’ll develop a stronger vision together – and then a strong vision statement!
Keep It Alive
The vision is essential, but keeping it alive throughout the year is not an easy task. For you to get the most out of your vision, you must first remove any barriers keeping your vision from being a vibrant part of the work community.
Monitor Your Reactions & Fears
One of the main obstacles I’ve witnessed is the fear of change. Creating or adjusting a vision statement means that change is coming. So, it’s helpful to have an idea of how your staff will likely respond before, during, and after the implementation of a new vision.
Just as important to monitoring your team’s reaction is to monitor your own. As you implement your new/revised vision, you will likely go through a series of questions in your mind. Take some time to process through the following questions.
- Why do we need this new/revised vision?
- Will I be able to live with the new vision?
- Will I be able to support the new vision?
- What will the new vision expect of me?
- How will my work/life change as a result?
- Will I be able to continue doing what I’ve always done? Why or why not?
- Do I believe in my company’s ability to achieve this vision?
- Do I believe I can help make the vision happen?
Revise As You Go
Unfortunately, vision statements are often created out of obligation and tend to lack follow-through. If you’re creating a vision statement just to do so, then you’re creating it for all the wrong reasons. Vision statements that develop from this are often created by one person without input from others. And without input from others, the rest of your team may struggle to understand or accept the new vision statement.
Although leadership must have a vision for the future, it should be used as a way to open up a dialogue with your team. Be willing to make revisions as you go. This will make your vision statement stronger in the long-run.
As you work to define and implement a vision statement, it’s important to take your time. Decide where you want to go and why you want to get there. Once you’ve figured that out, it’s time to force that vision into a few catchy sentences. What’s your vision statement? Share with me in the comments!
Are you interested in walking through the process to create your own vision statement for your business? Grab the FREE cheatsheet by entering your name and email address below!