Over the years my clients have asked me over and over in various different ways about vision. In fact, one of my newer associates recently asked me “What’s so important about vision anyway?”
As a business coach I’m often shocked at how many business leaders and business development specialists take this topic for granted. I mean some people don’t even consider having a well articulated vision and mission statement a priority. What they don’t know is that their lack of a clearly defined vision is just as powerful as having one in the first place. In fact, if you don’t know where you are going, you are likely to get there faster. Where is that you ask? Well nowhere of course! You can’t create something from nothing unless you have an idea.
Vision is the absolute most important creative force in the known universe. It’s the beginning of everything. It clarifies our decision making, helps people to understand where we are going and defines the very purpose of every major initiative. Vision helps us to not only understand the destination of others, of companies and organizations but it aligns people with the motivation needed to be of assistance toward the fulfillment of mission with a sense of purpose and passion.
As I say, most of us take vision for granted and let others define how, why and what we do instead of taking the time to do it for ourselves. Our employers define professionalism for us. Our professional organizations define our existence in the organization with the “code of ethics”. Our parents may have molded us into the “good son or daughter” and helped to cast our sights on the “type” of parents we would be. It’s important to understand that everything that you do and everything you are is driven by and requires vision. Everything from your self-concept to how you will perform within each roles of life is dominated by vision all of the time.
As I pontificate this idea, I realize that the question can only be answered from many different perspectives and there are simply too many ideas to bring out in one setting if hope to do myself or you the reader any kind of justice. So, I’ve decided to share these ideas with you over the next few weeks with several different posts that will highlight the very essence of the vision idea hopefully in an illuminating and refreshing way. We’ll cover the topic in this order:
Vision sets and determines destination
Vision helps others to buy-in and create true understanding
Vision clarifies decision making
Vision creates and sustains motivation
Vision defines purpose
Vision is the essence of creativity
Vision sets and determines destination
Ok, let’s discuss this first topic. One of the greatest characteristics of vision is its unique and distinct advantage of providing a sense of destination or destiny if you will. When you absolutely know where you want to go in life there is a peace that is almost infectious. Imagine not having to ask “what is this all about?” or “why am I doing this?” When your vision is clear not only do you know where you are going but why you are going there. You are in tune and in touched with a deeper sense of self with more meaningful insight into your particular contribution in life.
There is no lack of direction or focus. There’s only increasing clarity as you pursue your idea with passion and complete integrity. I use the word integrity because your vision actually defines the most authentic you that there is. Way before Shakespere asked “to be or not to be” the ancient civilizations posed questions like “who am I?” and “what is?” Vision brings answers to the greatest questions of all time. The answers are yours and they yours personally. When it’s right, it’s whole and complete and that’s exactly how you feel. When your vision is correct, you no longer wander the earth to quote the great Zig Zigler “wandering generality” instead you become a “meaningful specific”.
Yes, vision sets you and your company on solid ground. Corporate and organizational leaders use vision so that both clients and employees alike know where they are going. This helps everyone begin to have solid and firm definitions of their place in the organization. Remember the biblical phrase “without a vision people perish”. This is even true today.
Here are some useful exercises to try.
Write a list of everything that you know that you are good at? Think about the sets of skills that you’ve had to master in order to accomplish all that you’ve achieved in life so far. What did you have to do to get your spouse to say yes? What did you do to get your last promotion or position in the community?
No take a hard look at your skills. What do they tell you about you? Which skills do you enjoy using the most? What could you do all day every day without getting tired or being bored? How can you leverage these skills to propel your future?
Next time we’ll get into topic number two: “Vision helps others to buy-in and create true understanding“