“A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.”
— Ralph Lauren
We all know that importance of having a vision for our business, yet many of us never take the time to create one. Quite often we find ourselves preoccupied with the everyday activities of operating the business and seldom step back to look at the grander vision of why we do what we do. However, many successful entrepreneurs believe that it is their unique compelling vision that truly propels their business forward.
In today’s world we spend most of our time talking about creating goals; however most goals, objectives and tasks are best formed after a clearly stated vision is created. The vision becomes the major focal point in which all secondary goals are lined up with. Additionally, a clearly defined vision should arouse an emotion of excitement for the business owner as well as all members on the team. It makes everyone enjoy working for the company and mysteriously attracts the perfect clientele to make the business prosper.
Simon Sinek, author of “Start with Why, How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” says “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” He relates his message to the examples of several great inspiring leaders (Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Wright Brothers). In each case he shows how each leader positively affects their teams, followers and customers through their vision of why they do what they do. The result is the success of a massive movement!
We can all create our own vision for our lives as well as our business. There are many books on the subject; however following these five basic steps will get you off in the right direction:
1.) Define Your “Why” and Your Companies “Why”.
Why do you do what you do? Make a list of all of your whys. For example “I’m doing this to put my kids through college”, or “I love making customers happy and giving them a quality product that they enjoy”. Write down whatever comes to your heart of why you are doing what you are doing and reconnect to your purpose.
2.) Does it Excite and Inspire You?
If you’re inspired, those around you will feel inspired also. It will cause a renewing of spirit that will reflect in employees performing better and even make customers happier. It’s also important that your vision is in alignment with your core values or your company’s core values.
3.) Does it set you aside from your competition?
What is your unique offering that makes your business stand out of the crowd? How are you going to better serve your customers? Take a moment to write a few sentences describing how your company is special and what specific things that you can do or offer that will create extra value.
4.) Does it positively impact others (customers, employees, vendors, you)? Does it make the world a better place?
Several years ago one of my clients shared his vision with me of how he wanted to once a year throw a huge customer appreciation picnic for his top customers and their families (and his employees and their families too). He said that he truly enjoyed the fun activities of an outdoor summer picnic and felt that it would strengthen his rapport and relationships with his top clients. Today his dream has become a success! Held on July 4th every year with kids, families, hot dogs, fireworks and fun! And not only is his business doing phenomenally well, his yearly customer appreciation picnic is a well-attended, well-loved success.
5.) Is it shared and “Top of Mind” with your team?
Great leaders inspire great teams! We all know how important it is to all be on the same page with our company’s vision and goals. Our companies grow and prosper by constantly sharing and keeping the vision alive and top of mind in our team. In addition to the shared excitement, your staff will feel both valued and connected and this will generally reflect in their positive attitude and commitment to their job. Author and speaker John Maxwell says it quite well with his simple quote “Leadership is influence”.
Additional Notes and Comments about Creating a Vision:
There is no set rule as to how many words should be in your vision. I have seen some that were two sentences and others that were two pages long (and some with pictures). It’s you vision and what’s most important is how it makes you feel when you read it.
Author, speaker and entrepreneur Mary Morrissey instructs her audience to start writing their vision with the words “I am so happy and grateful now that_________________________ (fill in the blank)”. She says by visioning as if it’s already happening now, you will create an energy in both you and the universe around you that will begin to produce miracles. Today her popular method of visioning is used and shared by thousands of leaders and business owners throughout the world.
A great way to get started is to leave the office, find a quiet place, quiet your mind and contemplate on several simple questions: “How do I create a company that my clients, my staff and I absolutely love?”, or “What can my company do better than anyone else?”, or “Where do I see my company 1 year, 5 years and 10 years from now?” Make sure to write down anything that inspires you and comes to mind. You can always go back and refine, spell check and polish the vision into a simpler and more powerful format. This process may take several minutes, several hours or several days. However, once completed you will begin to feel a renewed sense of drive, direction and purpose, and your business will begin to thrive on the rocket-ship of success!
Ron Frost – Business Coach and Life Coach
1910 Park Meadows Drive, Suite 202
Fort Myers, FL 33907