VISION: Your Roadmap to the Future

A vision statement is a look into your organization’s future destination, describing the impact you want to have on your community, or the world, as a result of your vision. It also gives your team a picture of a brighter future to work toward.
If you don’t have a clear picture of where you want your organization to be in five years, you don’t have anything to inspire your people to follow you. Your vision should be an inspiring picture that energizes your mind, will, and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it!
I know many are unclear on what that word vision really means when it comes to an organization. Simply put, vision is having a very clear picture of what your organization looks like in the future. It’s seeing your goals in their completed state. As Stephen Covey says in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,
“Begin with the end in mind.”
Without a vision directing our strategy, we run the risk of wasting time and energy on opportunities that seem good at the time but in the end are just distractions. Being very clear about what you want the future to look like makes it easier to avoid getting entangled in things that will get you off track.
You see, vision not only gives you something to work toward, but it also helps you establish healthy boundaries and clarity in your decision-making processes. Conversely, when you are unclear about your vision—what you want the future to look like—you will tend to make poor short-term decisions, pursuing whatever opportunities look good at the moment.

How Vision Determines Your Talent

Vision can also play a huge role in recruiting talent. One thing all successful college football coaches have in common is they are great at recruiting. They are masters in the art of vision casting, convincing young men what their future could look like if they joined their team.
If they have a history of winning, they sell them on the success they have enjoyed and how the new recruits can be a part of that winning tradition. If they have not enjoyed success recently, they sell them on how they could be the star that turns the entire program around. Either way, vision plays a huge role in the decision-making process regarding who joins the team.
It’s important to note that these coaches are not just recruiting anybody who can wear the uniform; they are looking for very specific players with a certain skill set, work ethic, and attitude. They are very aware of what their current needs are, but they are also proactive in recruiting for where they want to be in four years. The coach not only has a vision of what a winning team looks like; he also has a vision of what a winning player looks like. When great coaches are scouting at high school football games, they are not looking for a potential star on the college field but the one who will be a star in the NFL. This is the same kind of thinking you need to have if you are going to build or sustain a winning culture.

Strategize Your Vision Casting

Organizations don’t casually drift toward greatness, success, or growth; they have to be guided. One of the most important things you can do is communicate your vision often because vision leaks.

You need to find multiple ways to communicate it on an ongoing basis.
Write it down and post it everywhere
Create posters to hang on the wall and make decals for your computers and vehicles.
Plaster it all over your website and talk about it in all your meetings.
Tell stories that embody the vision.
Read customer reviews that confirm how well you are living out the vision.
Create contests rewarding those who can recite your vision on the spot.
Repeat it over and over again. You can’t talk about your vision too much.
The bottom line is you must cast a vision worth following or you run the risk of taking the journey alone. Johann Wolfgang had some great advice when he said, “Dream no small dreams for they have no power to stir the hearts of men.”
So, think big, dream big, and see your vision in its completed state. It’s your roadmap to the future you can achieve!

Together, we can leave a mark that can’t be erased.
Terry Gwaltney
Author, Culture-neer
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