There are three elements of a compelling vision. In my last blog post, I discussed the first element – having a significant purpose. The second element of a compelling vision is a clear picture of the future.
There is tremendous power in holding a picture in your mind of what you intend to create.
I first became aware of the power of holding a picture of what you want to create after the 1976 Olympics. The Russians walked away with almost all of the gold medals, and people were wondering how they did it. We discovered that they were using a technique called “mental rehearsal” where they imagined practicing the race. I was very curious about this and . . . → Read More: Create a Vision With Staying Power – Part 2
When you have a vision, you know where you want to go and you can see your next steps – but you won’t be able to see the entire path.
Vision is not about the path, it’s about the destination. As you take each step, the next step becomes clear as long as you stay focused on your vision.
You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. ..~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Goals are important.
Goals quantify and define the steps you must take. They are the signposts that let you know you are moving in the right direction. They are measurable and answer questions like When? and How much? (rather than Why? which is addressed by . . . → Read More: A Big Goal Is Not The Same As a Vision
In Full Steam Ahead! Unleash the Power of Vision, we provide this definition of vision:
“Vision is knowing who you are, where you’re going, and what will guide the journey.” – Ken Blanchard and Jesse Lyn Stoner
A much earlier definition I wrote is quoted by Zig Ziglar in Over the Top:
“A vision is a clearly-articulated, results-oriented picture of a future you intend to create. It is a dream with direction.” – Jesse Stoner-Zemel
Both definitions are accurate, but to more fully explain the characteristics of an effective vision – a vision that drives commitment and direction – I use the acronym DRIVING. It helps avoid ending up with something that is so vague or lofty, it has no meaning. . . . → Read More: Characteristics of an Effective Vision: Create a DRIVING Vision
“Our company had a big meeting a few weeks ago where the president laid out his vision. It means big changes and a lot of us were skeptical about it. But I have to say that by the end of his presentation, he had us all sold. It was pretty impressive.”
Frank had introduced himself during a break at a conference where I was speaking last week.
“Very impressive,” I responded. “What’s going to happen next?”
“I’m in charge of the eastern sales force. Part of the vision requires moving our sales force away from the corporate headquarters and closer to the properties we own so they can be close to our customer base. We have major properties in eight cities in my region, so . . . → Read More: Manage the Mid-Space or Your Vision Will Fail
It’s cold here. It’s been a week since we lost electric power in the small towns of central Connecticut. Last Saturday we were caught by a freak storm that dumped eight inches of heavy wet snow. The beautiful trees, still sporting their fall foliage, held the heavy snow on their leafy branches until they could bear the weight no longer and snapped. Huge limbs and entire trees crashed to the ground, pulling electric wires down with them.
Two days after the storm, a half million people were still without power – check out the black areas on the map below. And today, a week later, 200,000 people are still without power, my town included.
The first day after . . . → Read More: What Really Happened When the Lights Went Out
How long should your vision statement be?
The answer: Long enough.
Long enough to evoke a noble sense of purpose, provide a call to action, and describe a clear picture of your destination.
These four vision statements work because they condense a lot of information into an inspiring statement that is quickly understood by most people. If you were not familiar with the context, it would require a much longer statement to explain them.
xxxxxxxxA computer on every desk. ~Steve Jobs
xxxxxxxxA computer on every desk in every home running Microsoft software. ~Bill Gates
xxxxxxxxProduce an affordable automobile. ~Henry Ford
xxxxxxxxOne team, one country. ~Nelson Mandela
HOWEVER…most effective vision statements are NOT short statements.
Consider Martin Luther . . . → Read More: Vision Statements That Work: The Long and Short of It
What makes a vision work? Why do some visions galvanize people toward great achievement while others cause your eyes to glaze over?
What all great visions have in common is they provide an answer to these three questions:
1) Destination: Where are we going?
2) Purpose: Why do we exist? What greater good do we serve?
3) Values: What principles guide our decisions and actions on our journey?
When a vision address all three of these questions, a tremendous amount of energy is unleashed. There is a higher level of commitment because employees are able to see the relationship between the direction of their company and what they personally believe in and care deeply . . . → Read More: The Key to Visions That Work
Today’s children live in a world where stress and pressure comes at them from countless sources – from peers, teachers, and coaches to the media that paints a picture of unattainable perfection, parents who want the best but sometimes push too hard, and a world that that can seem painfully harsh.
In their own homes, children can watch a war in another country in real-time. And it is difficult to tell the difference between what is real and the simulated violence in movies and electronic games.
Statistics in the United States are alarming. According to SADD, nearly three quarters of students (72%) have consumed alcohol (more than just a few sips) by the end of high school, and more than a third (37%) have done . . . → Read More: How the Power of Vision Can Help Your Family & 4 Tips to Create One
In 1975, Terry Fox, was awarded Athlete of the Year his senior year in his British Columbia, Canada high school. A few months after graduation, he discovered he had a malignant tumor. His leg was amputated four days later.
The night before his operation, he read a magazine article about an amputee who ran in the New York marathon. That night, Terry dreamed about running across Canada.
During his follow-up treatment, Terry saw suffering as he’d never seen it before. He later wrote these words in a letter to the Canadian Cancer Society requesting their support:
As I went through the sixteen months of the physically and emotionally draining ordeal of chemotherapy, I was rudely awakened by the feelings that surrounded and coursed through the . . . → Read More: When You’re Thrown Off Course…