To Create an Enduring Vision, Values Must Support Purpose

“Vision is a clearly articulated, results-oriented picture of a future you intend to create. It is a dream with direction.” In short, vision is a combination of three basic elements: 1) a significant purpose, reason for existence, 2) a clear picture of the future, and 3) the underlying core values.

In my last two posts, I discussed the elements of purpose and picture of the future. This post focuses on the third element – values.

Our values are our deeply held beliefs about what is right and good, evoking standards that we care deeply about. They drive our behaviors and decisions, trigger our emotions, and can fuel a passion that drives commitment, even in the face of obstacles and change.

An engaging vision, one . . . → Read More: To Create an Enduring Vision, Values Must Support Purpose

How to Identify Your Team or Organization’s Purpose

The window shade company was struggling. Mary, a business consultant, asked the owner, “What business are you really in?”

The owner replied, condescendingly, “The window shade business, Mary.” Thinking to himself this conversation was a waste of time.

But undaunted, Mary asked again, “When someone walks into your store, why do they want a window shade? What are you really selling?”

That caused the owner to pause a moment. Why does someone want a window shade?

“Well, to control light.” He thought a moment longer and added, “They also want privacy.”

It dawned on him, “We’re in the light-control and privacy business! – not the window shade business.”

His realization opened the door to new possibilities that saved his store.

The year was 1920. Venetian . . . → Read More: How to Identify Your Team or Organization’s Purpose

The Key to Visions That Work

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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

Time for Spring Cleaning: Clean Up Your Values

It’s springtime in New England. The trees are beginning to bud and soon it will be time for my teenage son to start mowing the lawn again.

I need to find a new tree service company. I fired my old one last summer.

My son mows our lawn every week. The tree service company comes only a few times to spray the trees. Last summer they unexpectedly showed up one day while my son was mowing.

Returning from work I noticed them as I drove up my driveway. The sprayer was aimed at the dogwood tree, but the wind carried the spray directly toward my son who was working his way across the other side of the lawn.

I jumped out of my car . . . → Read More: Time for Spring Cleaning: Clean Up Your Values

Are You Taking Your Team to the Moon? What's Next?

The year was 1961. President Kennedy announced the United States would land a man on the moon and return him safely before the end of the decade. He painted an audacious picture, considering NASA had not yet invented the necessary technology. Ten years later, through focused energy, dedication and herculean effort, the team at NASA succeeded. If you had been born by then, chances are you remember exactly where you were on July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong made history as the first person to walk on the moon.

The story of the Apollo Moon Project demonstrates the tremendous power released when people share a picture of what they intend to accomplish. They are able of overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and achieve spectacular results.

The . . . → Read More: Are You Taking Your Team to the Moon? What’s Next?