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“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

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 are going and what it will look like when your purpose is fulfilled. It’s not something vague, like being the best or number one, but something you can clearly visualize like “a computer on every desk.”
  • Values are the guidelines for daily behavior and decision-making. When choosing values, it is important to ask “what values are need to support the organization’s purpose?” For example, Eileen Fisher (designer of women’s clothes) should have a value around creativity. But you would probably not want your accounting firm to have that value. Reliable and accurate would be better values for them. I wanted the values of my lawn care company to include environmentally safe.

Why is it important to include all three elements?

  • When you are aware of and intentional about your purpose, you operate in a bigger framework and are able to answer the question, “What’s next?”
  • When you consciously act from your values, you treat others and yourself with respect and create an environment that will support your efforts.
  • When you see a picture of your potential, the tremendous power of mental imagery increases your likelihood of achieving it.

BUT… This Is Not Enough

To really understand what is vision, and to ensure you create a compelling one, pay attention to the Three How’s:

How it’s created,

How it’s communicated, and

How it’s lived.

You will have a smarter vision. It will be more deeply understood by all. And it will generate an enthusiasm and commitment throughout your organization that will keep you moving forward over the long run.

The Three Hows


For a more in-depth explanation, see the book Full Steam Ahead! Unleash the Power of Vision at Work and in Your Life by Ken Blanchard and Jesse Lyn Stoner.

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