A leader needs to provide direction to those within their circle of influence and control. In this article, you will learn how to write a vision statement to help you provide that direction and give the team something to strive for. Also contained in this article are vision statement examples from famous companies and personal vision statement examples to help guide you.
This statement helps teams stay on track to reach goals within the work area. It’s great to get members of your team to help construct a vision statement with you. The more the team helps, the more they will buy into the statement and make it a reality.
Creating a vision statement may seem like a daunting task but it’s not so hard when you break it down into chunks. Using the steps contained in this article will make your job of writing a vision statement, a lot easier.
How Do We Define Vision?
In order to create a vision statement, you need to first understand what vision is and how to apply it to your situation.
I define vision as, where you want a company, organization, team, or yourself to be in the future. It is how you envision the future. Not the negative aspects of what you think the future might hold but the positive view of where you want the future to be.
Vision vs Mission Statement
You may be confused about the difference between a vision and a mission statement. Although both are useful for the success of a company, they do serve different purposes. A mission statement is focused on what the company or organization currently does. Whereas a vision statement is focused on where you want to go or where you envision the company or organization in the future.
For example, if you are in a company that makes cabinets, they might have a mission statement of “We will create the quality cabinets, at a reasonable price. With minimal waste, maximizing customer satisfaction.” Now if you are starting a cabinet company on your own, you may have a vision statement like “Create quality cabinets at a reasonable price. With minimal waste to maximize profits.” They are both similar but one focuses on now and the other focuses on the future.
How to Write a Vision Statement.
Step 1. Think about your goals.
Your goals are the heart of your statement. Where do you see your work area, the company, or yourself in the next five years? How about the next ten years? The answers to these questions are very important in creating a vision statement.
Your statement will be a guide to help you achieve your goals and keep you and your team on track to reach them. Write down a few goals or your view of where you see yourself, your team, and your company in the future. Write down as many details as you can think of. The more details you think of the better.
Step 2. Know the values of the company or organization.
What values and ethics do you have? What values does the company have? These play a big part in what your vision is and how you want to achieve it. Sometimes we get so focused on our goals that we lose who we are in our pursuit of them. Therefore, ethics and values should play a huge role in your statement.
When you write a vision statement it should be a constant reminder of who you are and what you stand for. Not only to you and your team but it also shows everyone else what you stand for.
Step 3. Build on the mission of your team.
Your statement needs to be relevant to your team and what you all do for the company. If you stray too far from the mission of the team, your goals will be unattainable or not of value to your team. Don’t try to change the world with your statement, just try to make your world better. It should be a guide for where you want your team to be in the future.
Your team’s mission should be guiding your goals for your team and also should guide you when you create a vision statement. For example, if you manage the customer service department in the organization, your goal probably shouldn’t be to have the best quality products. That should be another department’s goal, but your goals should be things within the control of you and your team.
Step 4. Keep it simple but concise.
You want your statement to be very concise and to the point but also as short and simple as possible. The simpler and shorter your statement is, the easier it is for people to remember and internalize. If you write a vision statement that’s lengthy, it can get confusing and can be very hard for people to remember. Try to keep it down to one or two sentences. Just don’t make it so small that it loses all of it’s meaning.
Step 5. Think about the future.
You can’t predict everything that will happen but have some foresight when you create your statement. You want to account for changes that you know are coming down the line within the company, your department, or in your life. If you not, you might be redoing your statement very soon because it may no longer be relevant. You want your statement to be something that can be a guiding principle for a long time.
Step 6. Consider your timeline.
How far out do your goals go? How long before you can reach these goals? You want your objectives to be within reach but still require work to get there. Don’t make it something so easy that you achieve your goals within a short amount of time but don’t make it something that is never achievable within your organization. Think 3, 5, or 10 years down the road.
Step 7. Putting it all together to create your vision statement.
To put it all together, structure one or two sentences that encapsulate your goals specific to your work area and the mission of your team. Ensure your values are showcased in your statement. Try to simplify it as much as possible without losing your message. Once you have your statement tuned up, read it out loud a few times to see how it sounds. If it’s hard to read it may be hard for people to remember and you may want to reword it.
Vision Statement Examples of Companies
McDonald’s Vision Statement Example
“To be the best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile.”
Nike Vision Statement Example
“Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)”
IKEA Vision Statement Example
“Our vision is to create a better everyday life for many people.”
Patagonia Vision Statement Example
“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Disney Vision Statement Example
“To make people happy.”
Microsoft Vision Statement Example
“Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
Ford Vision Statement Example
“People working together as a lean, global enterprise to make people’s lives better through automotive and mobility leadership.”
Honda 1970 Vision Statement Example
“We will destroy Yamaha.”
For more examples see 17 Truly Inspiring Company Vision and Mission Statement Examples.
Is it Only for Businesses?
Personal Vision Statement
Vision statements are not only for businesses. You can use this same technique to create a personal vision statement for yourself to enhance your personal life. This short statement is something that you use to guide you in your journey to reach your goals and be a better you.
Personal Vision Statement Examples
“Be the best leader I can be, always making those around me better.”
“Champion level athlete entering a professional career as an accomplished honors graduate with Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry.”
“A proud parent that successfully raised my children to be productive members of society while myself managing a successful professional career.”
“Be a kind, supporting person, always caring for those around me.”
“Successful engineer with a great company making more than 6 figures a year.”
How to Use Your Statement.
When your vision statement sounds good it’s time to present it to the world. Your vision statement should guide your department. Therefore, it should be displayed where all can see. Preferably places where the majority of your team will see it daily. If you frequently send emails You can put your vision statement at the end of your signature block. The most important part is making sure your team believes in the vision. If they believe, they will do everything they can to make your vision a reality.
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