Vision: Reality or Fantasy?
Is your vision getting the job done?
Nothing is more important to organizational health than having a clear and compelling vision. It is the starting domino that impacts all other pieces within your organization. Vision is to an organization what oxygen is for a person - life essence! Your vision determines if or how your people breathe! It’s the ultimate compass that points to your future. Success cannot occur without vision. The vision provides direction, inspiration, and action for your people. It’s no wonder the Bible says that without vision...the people will perish (Proverbs 29:18).
Leaders can’t go very far without hearing of the importance of creating and casting vision. In fact, there has been a surge of resources on the topic explode to the scene over the past two decades. This is a fabulous reality! While most leaders recognize the need for vision, few actually produce it. Year after year, many leaders make their best attempts to launch the vision in their prospective organizations but are met with resounding failure. In her book “Leading with Vision”, Bonnie Hagemann writes, “Most leaders struggle to create a compelling vision. They must first push past their limbic brain system which will naturally do its job of keeping the leader “safe” by trying to keep them from stepping out in this leadership capacity.” When it comes to building a successful vision, most leaders stumble over either the creativity or sustainability of the visions they attempt to cast. Even worse, there are countless leaders who are convinced of their vision’s dynamic presence but are disconnected from the reality of its implementation and embrace among the organization.
In this action article, I want to highly Four Essential Questions to Evaluate the Existence of Your Vision. Let these questions soak into the depths of your leadership soul.
1. Is Your Vision Clearly Articulated?
We have to start with you. Does the vision make sense to you? Does it inspire you? Does it stir up an emotional response? Can you visualize it being carried out? If your vision is not clear to you, it will never be caught by others.
Next, we have to talk about your people. Do they understand the vision? Does it make sense to them? Does it inspire them? Does it stir up an emotional response among them? Do they know how to act on the vision? If your vision is not implemented among your tribe, your legacy will never be celebrated among your followers.
Your vision serves as the blueprints for your people. It gives them the exact specifications for how they are to help build your organization. As John Maxwell writes, “Clarity of vision creates clarity of priorities.”
2. Is Your Vision Clearly Communicated?
Now we have to analyze the nuts and bolts of how you share information with your people. What platforms do you actively use right now for the sake of communicating your vision? How many touchpoints do you use to communicate the vision with your people and what are they?
Take a moment to create an inventory. Do you have banners, signs, and posters? Do you have email and intentional promotional material? Do you (and your leaders) echo the vision statement in every meeting? Simply put: if it’s not visible...it won’t be attainable.
3. Is Your Vision Clearly Embraced?
I spent last summer continuing education through a program offered in a level one trauma center. This hospital was particularly appealing as it prided itself on its historical and vibrant vision. As a student of leadership and vision, I was more than thrilled to see if this organization had a vision that was truly embraced. I am honored to say that within my first week, I could see the vision embraced by leaders and workers at all levels! Not only did I witness the presence of the vision in meetings and team huddles, I even saw entry-level employees explaining the why behind their roles and responsibilities. This was a vision-centric organization! How about your context? What are the signs that the vision is being embraced? Do people talk about the vision? Do they look for unique ways to infuse it into problem-solving or innovation? Do people express the vision with passion or enthusiam?
4. Is Your Vision Clearly Implemented?
When was the last time you looked under the hood of your organization? Do you have an updated inventory of every service, department, program, system, and product your organization offers? Of that list, is there anything that doesn’t fully align with your vision? If so, why not? Even better....why are you keeping it if it doesn’t align with or fulfill your vision?
Answering the tough questions like these help us maintain our true north and open the door to even greater possibilities in our future!
Join the conversation
What small step can you take this week to ensure your vision is a reality for your organization?