To Craft a Powerful Mission Statement Avoid These 6 Traps

Mission Statements Common Traps

 

One of the most important things you can do is to identify your team’s mission.

And one of the biggest wastes of time is creating a mission statement that is not used.

How to Write a Mission Statement in 5 Steps explains what a mission statement is and how to write one. But simply writing a good statement does not ensure it will be used.

How you create it is as important as what it says.

Avoid these six common traps to craft a powerful mission statement that provides guidance for strategic decisions, focuses your team’s energies, and increases their commitment, clarity and trust.

Trap #1: Seeing this as an activity to complete.

Approaching the idea of a mission statement as a task . . . → Read More: To Craft a Powerful Mission Statement Avoid These 6 Traps

Vision Requires Action: 7 Tips to Move and Keep Moving

Vision Requires Action

Creating a shared vision is one of the most important roles of a leader. But vision alone is not enough. Vision requires action.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. – Japanese proverb

First: Do a “Vision Check” to make sure you really have a shared vision.

➤ Does your vision include all three keys to a compelling vision?

➤ Did you involve others in creating it? Does the vision resonate with their own hopes, and can they see how they can contribute?

Now: Take action!

1. Start now. Take the first steps and other steps will be come clear.

Vision is about action, not planning. As you take steps, future steps become clear as you move forward. . . . → Read More: Vision Requires Action: 7 Tips to Move and Keep Moving

What is Vision?

The Three Elements of a Compelling Vision

“Vision is knowing who you are, where you’re going and what will guide your journey.”

– Ken Blanchard and Jesse Stoner

Who you are – is your purpose Where you’re going – is your picture of the future What will guide your journey – are your values The Three Elements of a Compelling Vision

Purpose is your organization’s reason for existence. Choose a significant purpose that’s not about you, but is about providing value to those who use your products or services. Consider your purpose from your customer’s viewpoint. For example, a window shade company might sell window shades but their purpose might be to light control and privacy. Picture of the future is a results-oriented picture of where you . . . → Read More: What is Vision?

Vision and Execution Are Not Sequential

Circular

One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is moving from vision to execution as though it’s a linear process. The widely held assumption is they are two ends of a spectrum: Vision is about planning. Execution is about action.

The truth is: Vision requires action to be clarified and refined, and execution requires reflection to be effective.

IT’S NOT LINEAR

Most leadership experts subscribe to some variation of these five steps. The model is logical. But in reality, most of us don’t live our lives that way, and most leaders are not rigorous about it, because life doesn’t wait while you are planning. No wonder so many leaders have little patience with the first steps.

CIRCULAR IS BETTER

When you think of these steps as . . . → Read More: Vision and Execution Are Not Sequential

Think You Can Lead Without a Vision? Think Again

LeadershipIsGoingSomewhere

Think you can lead without a vision? Think again. Leadership is about going somewhere. How do you know where you’re going if you don’t have a vision?

Vision makes work meaningful. Vision helps us feel connected to something larger than ourselves. A shared vision helps us feel connected with others because we trust we share the same goals and values.

An organization without a clear vision is like a river without banks—it stagnates and goes nowhere.

A leader without a vision to serve is in danger of becoming self-serving.

Do You Have a Blah, Blah, Blah Vision or a DRIVING Vision?

Blah blah blah vision

Does your vision sound something like this? – Our vision is to provide aggressive strategic marketing with quality products and services at competitive prices to provide the best value for consumers.

Bad news. You have a blah, blah, blah vision. Do yourself and everyone on your team a favor – take it down.

You have two choices. You can decide you don’t need a vision and get on with your work.

Or… you can engage with your team in creating a DRIVING vision – one that lives in the hearts and minds of everyone and naturally drives behavior and decisions.

A DRIVING vision is a clearly-articulated, results-oriented picture of a future you intend to create. It is a dream with direction.

When it is shared, . . . → Read More: Do You Have a Blah, Blah, Blah Vision or a DRIVING Vision?

Guidelines to Create a Compelling Vision

stay_focused_on_your_vision_quote

A compelling vision helps you make choices about where to focus your energy. Without vision, you are in danger of trying to be all things to all people, scattered or adrift.

In our book, Full Steam Ahead! Unleash the Power of Vision, Ken Blanchard and I explain:

“Vision is knowing who you are, where you’re going, and what will guide the journey.”

Who you are is your purpose. Where you’re going is your picture of the future. What will guide your journey are your values.

Vision is about being great

A noble purpose is inspiring and helps you stay committed when times are hard.

A compelling vision is not about beating the competition or expressed simply in numbers. It’s about being the . . . → Read More: Guidelines to Create a Compelling Vision

Stay Focused on Your Vision

"The path might not be clear, but stay focused on your vision and take the first step. The journey is as important as the destination." ~ Jesse Lyn Stoner

Stay focused on your vision and take the first step.

How Does Your Team Vision Rate?

A real vision is lived, not framed.

Does your team share a real vision? Is it being lived? Does it make a difference?

Answer these 10 questions to find out how effective your vision is.

Get a reality check. Ask everyone on your team to rate the vision and discuss your answers. It’s a non-threatening way to launch a powerful team discussion.

(There’s a link to a free online version of this assessment at the bottom of this article.)

Directions

Rate each of the questions below on a 1 – 5 scale. Then total your responses to get your Score. Next read the section “What Your Score Means” to understand your Score and get ideas to help your team.

Rating Scale

= Rarely = Occasionally = Sometimes = Usually = . . . → Read More: How Does Your Team Vision Rate?