The one thing that great leaders and successful businesses have in common is a strong vision. Unfortunately, vision is the one thing that business owners forgo in favour of short-term goals and then wonder why their business is not evolving and growing. Vision is perceived as hard or even too time consuming with the preference being on the now. The demand for profit and productivity replaces the need to create and develop the catalyst for the transformation of your business.
So why have a vision and what is a vision? Vision can be confused with mission but they are distinctly different. The best way I can explain vision is the really big picture you are painting for your business. It is what you are working towards achieving. It is creating your business future today and that should spark a sense of excitement. Vision encourages innovation. It can inspire a team of people towards a common goal (vision) and create growth-orientated results. When a business is sure of it's vision and the vision is clearly articulated, this can attract people with the same values and ethics to work towards bringing the vision to fruition. Sold yet?
The vision of a business determines its direction and forms the greater purpose for being in business. It provides clarity and is the foundation for goal setting, not visa versa. It is a way of articulating to yourself, your team and your marketplace what the highest intention of your business is. It is a proactive approach to sending a message and refusing to let external factors take control. Without identity, without clarity come excuses. Creating a vision is all about 100% ownership of your business, taking control and accepting responsibility, not excuses.
Your vision should be visible and it should be something you are very proud to share. It needs to live and breathe with you and can be fluid. Importantly, it needs to breathe to inject life into your business.
Let's face it; the journey in business can be a long and hard one. Sometimes, you can feel like pulling your hair out or crawling up in a ball, rocking back and forth. Or is that just me? But when you glance at your vision, it reminds you of the 'why' you are going through this tough time, why you are making the hard decisions and how you will make a difference. It can instill within you the sense of confidence that you are on the right road and inspire you to get up and get on with it. That is the power of vision.
So get thinking; what would you envision as an ideal business? Who is your target audience? How much revenue will you acquire? Which countries will you be carrying out business operations in? How will you make sure your vision turns out to be real?
And something else – enjoy creating your vision. It is powerful exercise.