Having a vision statement is what guides you (and your company or team) into the future. It is the pull factor that inspires and motivates one to do more and stretch beyond the comfort zone. It is vital to exceeding your expectations, personally and professionally.
The single greatest motivator for human beings is meaning and purpose, this is the big “Why.’ While money, status, convenience, and many other things are motivators, the one with the greatest pull is to make a difference.
Writing out your vision statement is a powerful experience. While most people do not have a personal vision statement or one for their team, In Proverbs, it says, Without as vision people perish, and this is more true today living and working in the digital age surrounded by distraction and shiny objects.
The following steps will help you construct your vision statement. You can use these steps for your own personal vision or for your family, your department, or your company.
1. Identify your strengths
Most people focus on their weaknesses and because of this, they fail to reach their potential. Weaknesses drain your energy, and no amount of focus or effort will ever make them strengths. Focusing on weaknesses only makes you tired!
Strengths are those things you can do all day long and never get weary; they energize you when you engage in them. It is important to start identifying your strengths when you consider your vision statement.
Start by making a list of your strengths. Now narrow this list down to those 3-5 strengths most important to your goal and desired outcome.
2. Reflect on your values
Think of values as your compass; they are your guiding principles that direct your decisions and direction. For example, if your top value is ‘Family,’ you would not want to take a job where you travel 100% of the time, even if it looks like it is the way to the next level. You would end up compromising and in the end reducing your satisfaction and your impact because of the internal conflict it causes.
If you are not clear on your values, consider the following questions. They may help you begin to identify them. We have a short training on Values in the Work Smart Club.
Is it important that your work is meaningful?
What motivates you right now? (Think in terms of promotion, money, location, education, etc.)Do you prioritize work-life balance?
3. Consider what problems you (or your team) solve.
Knowing what problem you are solving and the outcome you want is key to writing out your vision statement. As an individual, you may have the vision to be a “transformational leader” who builds high-performance teams; your vision statement maybe something like, “Unlock potential through inspired leadership.”
4. Write out your vision statement.
This statement is short and lofty. It speaks to what you want people to experience as a result of you, or your team’s effort. What I mean is, your vision is what you strive for; it is a work in progress. The vision statement paints a picture of what you want people to experience as a result of you, and your team’s, effort.
Your vision statement is unique to you; use the following list of characteristics to help you create a compelling statement that pulls people into the future.
Future oriented. The statement will not be true, at the moment it is crafted, however it is designed to pull people into the future and is based on values, strengths and goals that are relevant to you, individually or corporately.
Concise and clear. Keep the statement simple, uncluttered, and clear so that by reading it one has a visceral understanding of what it is trying to do.
Focused. Stick to one clear objective.
Foundational. This statement needs to be true regardless of what is happening in the world around you.
Stretch. While goals that are too unrealistic tend to disrupt motivation, goals that are easy do the same. A vision statement is an aspiration that requires everyone to stretch to achieve it.
Pull factor. The statement is designed to be abstract vs very specific as in a tactical strategy. And it needs to inspire, which is what creates the pull factor.
Writing a vision statement is a process. If you are doing this with your team, it can be a powerful way to build on a shared purpose that brings people together. Understanding that crafting a vision statement is a process and requires diligence as you go through the steps; resist cutting corners and allow the creative process to work itself out.
Would you like to craft your own vision statement for 2022? Join Dr. Cynthia Howard in a FREE workshop, January 19 2022, 7p EST. Register below: