Why do you need to create a vision statement as a leader?
A leader needs to provide direction to those within their circle of influence and control. In this article, you will learn how to create a vision statement to help you provide that direction and give the team something to strive for.
A vision 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. Creating a vision statement may seem like a daunting task but it’s not so hard when you break it down into chunks.
How Do We Define Vision?
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 vision of where you want the future to be.
Vision Statement vs Mission Statement
You may be confused about the difference between a vision statement and a mission statement. Although both are useful for the success of a company, they do serve different purposes. A mission statement is focused around 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.
Steps to create a vision statement.
1. Think about your goals.
Your goals are the heart of your vision 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 vision 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 vision of where you see yourself, your team, and your company in the future.
To learn how to set SMART goals click here.
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 play a huge role in our vision statement.
When you create 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.
3. Build on the mission of your team.
When you create a vision statement it 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 vision statement will be unattainable for your team. Don’t try to change the world with your vision statement. 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. 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 mostly within the control of you and your team.
4. Keep it simple but concise.
You want your vision statement to be very concise and to the point but also as short and simple as possible. The simpler and shorter your vision statement is, the easier it is for people to remember and internalize. A lengthy vision statement can get confusing and is very hard for people to remember. Try to keep your vision statement to one or two short sentences.
5. Think about the future.
You can’t predict everything that will happen but have some foresight when you create a vision statement. You want to account for changes that you know are coming down the line within the company and your department. If you not, you might be redoing your vision statement very soon because it may no longer be relevant. You want your vision statement to be something that can be a guiding principle for a long time.
6. Consider your timeline.
How far out do your goals go? How long before you can reach these goals? You want your vision to be within reach but still require work to get there. Don’t make it something so easy that you achieve your vision within a short amount of time but don’t make it something that is never achievable within your organization.
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 vision statement. Try to simplify it as much as possible without losing your message. Once you have your vision 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 From Famous 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 a Vision Statement Only for Businesses?
No, a vision statement is not only for businesses. You can use this same technique to create a personal vision statement for yourself and your personal life. A personal vision statement example might be something like “My vision is to be the best leader I can be, always making those around me better.”
How to use your vision 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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