Why is it that so many owners of small businesses can’t tell me about their vision? They are actually unprepared and uncomfortable discussing the subject. Hey! Ms business owner, what does your company look like in three, five or ten years from now? Paint me a picture, get me excited about where you and your company are headed.
How the heck can you lead anybody anywhere without a good sense of where you want to go? I’m not talking about a plan;that detail comes later. I’m talking about the stuff that gets people excited. The stuff that makes people want to do business with you. What’s your vision?
As my wisdom grows in life, I put way more importance today on the need for every organization to have a vision statement;ten years out. Why ten years? Because you can accomplish just about anything in ten years; it allows you to dream, comfortably talk about the possibility of “what if” or “we could be”, “if this or that happens”. The vision statement should be one page, written in present tense and read out loud to all employees by the owner. The vision should briefly address size(sales $ and number and type of employees), new markets, technology, geographic locations, political climate; do you want to be big, small? How’s your world going to look ten years from now? To be most effective, invite your employees family and friends to be part of the process. Now we’re talking!
Imagine the energy and excitement you would create in your organization by capturing everyones dreams. What a great place to work. Everybody is part of the process and knows where the company is headed. That’s the power of a great vision statement.
To me, the cornerstone of a great leader is one that develops and presents the vision of the company he or she is leading. It should come from the heart and it will be the single most important document going forward. What’s the vision for your company? Do you even have one? If not, why would anyone want to follow you? Tell me how you inspire your associates to follow you. I’m really curious to hear your answer.