To get a rocket to lift off, you need to have a combination of both incredible power and precise focus. Leaving the atmosphere requires that you have an enormous amount of thrust, but that thrust has to be channeled in precisely the same direction. In your business, you need to the same combination of power and focus. And you can harness both through vision.
Vision is the centerpiece of your core fundamentals. Every organization needs to have both the power and focus that vision provides. Your Purpose, Values, and Vision provide the power; and your Mission, Customer, and Vision provide the focus. Vision is the only one in common between the Power Fundamentals and the Focus Fundamentals. Vision will get your team moving in the same direction over a longer period of time.
Here’s why Vision provides you with both power and focus.
1. Focus Fundamentals
Mission, Customer, and Vision comprise the Focus Triumvirate. These three fundamentals keep an organization focused because they channel a team’s effort.
Your Mission is your WHAT. Your mission statement reminds you what you are there to do. It doesn’t have to be written in exciting language because its function is to provide clarity. And your mission statement informs everyone at a basic level what the team collectively does together as a company.
Your Customer is your WHO. Your Customer is who you are there to serve. Now, your description of your customer doesn’t need to be flashy because its function is to provide clarity. Your customer description informs everyone at a basic level who the team collectively serves together as a company.
Your Vision provides your WHERE—and WHEN. It explains where you are going and when you are going to get there. It gives everyone a common target to shoot at. And it gives everyone a common deadline to shoot for.
These three definitions provide clarity so that everyone in your company can collectively focus their effort in the same direction.
2. Power Fundamentals
Purpose, Values, and Vision comprise the Power Triumvirate. These three fundamentals propel an organization forward because they unite your team.
Your Purpose is your WHY. Your Purpose reminds you why you do what you do. It’s the reason why you do your Mission. It’s the reason why you serve your Customer. It unites your team behind a common rallying cry. Even when you have had a tough day, it reminds you why you are there.
Your Values are your HOW. Your Values reinforce how you do what you do. They inform how you serve your Customer. They inform how you do your Mission. And they are the deeply held convictions that keep your culture intact. Values drive the expression of your brand through your interactions with your Customer.
Your Vision provides your WHERE—and WHEN. It paints a picture of a future state that your team finds desirable to bring to fruition. And it fuels the performance of your mission and your service to your Customer because it gives you a due date by when you plan to make that future state become reality.
These three definitions provide your employees the excitement that will collectively propel your company forward.
3. Vision as the Centerpiece
Your Vision provides the overlap between the Focus Triumvirate and the Power Triumvirate. It is the only directional fundamental: it provides the specificity of location and the force of forward motion. While Mission and Customer provide Focus and Purpose and Values provide Power, Vision serves the dual function of keeping you on track and keeping you inspired. It is not only a metric; it is a motivator.
Vision should not be taken lightly. It is a powerful tool, and it should be utilized as such. Don’t skimp on developing your Vision Statement. Take the time that it requires to develop. And then use it to the full extent of its capabilities to provide the focus and the power to launch your company.
So what’s your Vision?
Robert McFarland is the author of the bestsellers, Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew and Dear Employee: What Your Boss Wishes You Knew. Robert is also President of Transformational Impact LLC, a leadership development consultancy helping companies make ideals actionable.