Without Vision…! # 3

Monday, June 10th, 2013

So, for the past week, you’ve been giving a lot of thought to that picture of what your business or organisation should eventually look like – the end in mind.

And – you should have been able to write something down.  If you have, then go through it a few times and sharpen it up; try and keep it on one page if you can.

Once you have it clearly articulated, print it out and have it framed and placed in conspicuous places around your business premises.    Let your employees’ know that it’s not a set of new instructions for the workplace; it’s there to let them know what you’re trying to achieve – what your goals are.  Once they know what you’re aiming for, they will watch you to see whether your words and actions live up to those standards; and to the degree that they do, you will get buy-in from them.  This will also keep you on track each day.

Author Ezra Earl Jones points out:

“Leaders do not have to be the greatest visionaries themselves. The vision may come from anyone. The leaders do have to state the vision, however. Leaders also have to keep the vision before the people and remind them of the progress that is being made to achieve the vision. Otherwise, the people might assume that they are failing and give up.”

Just having the “vision” printed out and hanging on your walls is clearly not going to make it happen!  But, it is a great start!

Realise that between the place where you are now in your business, and the place where you ultimately want to be – this ‘end in mind’ – could be a long and winding road.  So, you need to plan a few things – some short term, achievable goals.

Imagine, for example, that you have the goal of driving from Cape Town to Cairo.  At first thought, it’s a huge task!  Long distances, big obstacles, great danger and quite a big expense too. Many will give up before they start, just at the thought of the enormity of the task.  But if you break the trip up into shorter ones – of say two hundred kilometers a day, and give thought to what you will need during those shorter trips, it doesn’t look quite so daunting.

And then – go for it!

At the end of your first day, look back and evaluate the trip.  Did it meet expectations?  Is there anything you need to change for the next section of the road?

And then when tomorrow comes – go for it, – again!  And address each day as it comes.  Almost imperceptibly, the trip is suddenly over and you’re in Cairo.  Wow!  You did it!  The key though, was patience, persistence – and having the ‘end in mind’!

Making a success of a business is not too different!   John Maxwell wrote:

Great vision precedes great achievement. Every team needs a compelling vision to give it direction.”