Why everything you do should move you closer to your vision

Lynn Scott explains why you must always keep your vision for your SME in mind.

In my last article, I identified the four things that prevent teams from performing at their best. In this one, I want to look at the importance of vision because the right one will bring the right people into your business – and keep them there.

Now, maybe you’ve been running your business for a while and the vision you had back in the early days is no longer fit for purpose – the world’s moved on.  Or maybe you’re a new start-up and your vision isn’t fully formed – or it’s really well formed in your head but you haven’t shared it with your colleagues in any meaningful way.

Because you need to be clear on WHY and HOW you do what you do (vision and common purpose); WHAT you will do to get there (your key focus areas – strategy and objectives) and the beliefs and values that people who work with you need to hold (and demonstrate in practice) in order to get you there. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

Your company vision describes your ‘raison d’etre’ as a company.  It should be both aspirational and  realistic; make sense to everyone in the business and, importantly, clarify the difference you’ll make to your customers’ lives

Your vision should fire people up, attract new employees and keep you on track. (Without a clear and aspirational vision it’s easy to veer off at tangents and go after ‘shiny new objects’).   A ‘vision’ doesn’t stop or come to an end.  It’s always work in progress!  If your vision is ONLY to make money then, frankly, you’re probably not the organisation that people will crawl over broken glass to work for.

Having said that, there is absolutely no point in dreaming something up which looks good on paper but, in reality, bears no relation to what you really do in practice. That will just create cynicism and mistrust.

Enron famously claimed to have four core values: Respect, Integrity, Excellence and Communication – and we all know how that ended.

So make it real. Write it in everyday language. And test it out. Is this REALLY why we do what we do?

Some famous vision comments

  • IKEA: To create a better everyday life for the many people. We make this possible by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home-furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.
  • Cancer Research UK: To bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
  • Lynn Scott Coaching (yes, that’s me!): To grow happier, more successful leaders who in turn grow other happy, successful leaders. We help leaders focus on the Four Pillars of Effortless Leadership built on a firm foundation.

Your vision is the basis from which your strategy is built – because if you don’t have a roadmap, you’ll never get there!  It should always be top of mind with everyone in the organisation. In everything I do, I always ask myself this question:  ‘Is what I am doing now helping me to grow happier, more successful leaders?  If the answer is no, it’s time to do something else.