There’s an old proverb that says, “Man without vision is like a ship without a compass.” In the same way, an organization led by visionless leaders can often leave their team feeling lost at sea.
Vision establishes a true north for your organization. Without knowing where your organization is headed, it’s impossible to establish an effective path forward. A well-defined vision provides a big picture of what your organization wants to achieve. By establishing that picture, it creates a common goal that both unifies and motivates your team to reach its intended destination.
Of course, in order to do that, your company’s vision can’t be copied and pasted from any other company. It should reflect the uniqueness of your organization – its strengths, culture, and values – in order to truly inspire your team. For example, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of companies focused on making shoes, but when Blake Mycoskie set out to launch TOMS, his vision was not to make another stylish, comfortable shoe. Mycoskie wanted his company to be in the business of improving lives. Over the last 16 years, TOMS has grown their community development strategies from giving away shoes to supporting grassroots efforts that bolster equity at the local level.
It’s easy to see how Mycoskie’s unique vision has not only set him apart from others in his industry, but also inspires and motivates his team by providing purpose and passion. Likewise, a well-defined vision should:
Author Warren Bennis once wrote, “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” We, as leaders, lack that capacity if we are not sold-out to the vision ourselves.
Your passion (or lack thereof) is contagious, so whatever you establish as your organization’s vision, be sure that it inspires you as well as your staff.