What is a Vision?
A vision is a picture of how we want things to be. What outcomes do we want.
Visualisation is all about trying to imagine what things will be like.
So what will success in your business look like for you?
A vision is your picture of the future as you would have it. You own it. It is not something you ‘should’ do. A ‘should’ vision belongs to someone else.
Your vision can change and become clearer and more defined but its essence often remains the same. It is this core that is the driver. My vision for my business has changed radically over the last six months but the changes have only strengthened my core vision of being the best corporate and business coach I can be.
We often create visions sub consciously. For example parents often have a vision of what they want for their children and this drives them in the way they support and nurture them. So even if their vision is to have happy, independent children who will make their own choices this influences their actions as parents.
A vision is a powerful thing. Visualising you can do something (which is achievable) has been proven to increase performance, against not doing anything at all. I watched a National Geographic program recently on Vision about a young boy who had a brain tumour and had been given 10 days to live and the doctors sent him home to die. He refused to accept this and he visualised his immune system as a scene out of star wars where the good cells were small ships attacking the one large enemy ship (the tumour). Within a week the tumour had drastically reduced in size and in about a month it had completely gone. Vision coupled with belief can be powerful.
Why do you need a Vision for your Business?
A Vision provides us with the big picture – the overall goal – the where we want to be in our business. As Stephen Covey says “Begin with the end in mind”
A vision drives and motivates your business. If the vision is clear and achievable it should provide clarity within your business, for yourself, your customers and your employees.
Getting employees to buy-in to your vision and for them to clearly understand their part in its achievement, is key to success, and will often see them performing beyond expectations.
A vision provides a long term objective for the organisation, so that when you wake up on a rainy, grey day at 6am and you know you have a long flight and a meeting you don’t want to attend, and your kids are complaining and the dog is ill and the car won’t start and you ask yourself ‘what am I doing this for?’ your vision is the what. It’s where your motivation comes – motivation comes from the anticipation of how you will feel when you achieve your vision.
Vision and Leadership
Warren Bennis carried out detailed research and suggests that the four major competencies of leaders are:
1) The management of attention.
Having an extraordinary focus and commitment, through a set of intentions or a vision, not in a mystical sense, but in the sense of outcome, goal or direction.
2) Management of meaning
To make dreams apparent to others, and to align people with them, leaders must communicate their vision. Leaders make the vision tangible and real to others so that they can support them.
3) Management of Trust
Knowing that some one is reliable, consistent and aligned. Understanding what they stand for.
4) Management of self
Leaders know themselves; they know their skills and nurture them.
A clear focused vision can produce unbending self-belief and determination. It can motivate your every day. It can be powerful and passionate.
For a vision to work for you and with you a vision needs to be aligned with who you are, with your authentic self for it to be powerful. Are your values, your beliefs and what you stand for congruent to your vision for your business? If not then you will find your business difficult and may struggle to make it work.
How Do You Create A Vision?
There are a number of ways to generate your vision.
There is the “what do I want?” process. Where you enlist the help of a friend or coach who asks you what do you want – you write your immediate response down and they ask you again “what do you want?” and they ask you again and again until you can’t come up with anymore answers. The idea is to keep going even when you are struggling for ideas, because often those last few things we come up with are core to what we really want in our vision.
Then go through the list and filter out what’s important to you in your picture of success and achievement.
Another method is to “begin with the end in mind” Stephen Covey tells us in his book ‘the 7 habits of Highly Effective People’. Think of your own eulogy. What would you have like to have achieved for your business? What are the key things you want to be remembered for? What difference did you make? How many people did you help?
Another method is to ask yourself what would you do or achieve if you couldn’t fail? If you had one wish what would it be?
Once you have a strong idea for your vision then you are ready for the next step.
Write Your Vision Down.
Write it for the now, near and far. Use all of your senses to describe your vision. Make it vivid and as real as possible. Write it in the present tense, as if you have already achieved it. Make it specific, positive and it make it personal. This is yours. Describe the colours, the sounds, how will you feel, what will you be doing, how do you know you have achieved it? Make it real. Make it compelling. Make it tangible.
Test Your Vision.
Only you can know if this is true. Often what others see as unrealistic we have it within us to achieve.
Examples: Microsoft, mobile telephones, the 3 minute mile – an English woman running her second marathon – London marathon – was the fastest British woman in the race and qualified for the Olympic team. She is 36 and has been running for 18 months.
Test Your Business Vision
For your business vision check out that your goal matches business reality.
- Who are the customers you are serving?
- What problems are you solving for them?
- What Industry are you in?
- What market?
- What are the barriers to entry?
- What are the benefits you bring?
- What is your unique selling point or your differentiator?
- How will you sell?
- How much will customers pay?
- How much will it cost to produce your product or service?
- Where will you finance it from?
- What are the quick wins and the low hanging fruit?
What will you risk to make this vision a reality?
- Will you risk your social life? Family time? Friendships? Your house? Your life style? Your financial stability?
What type of business do you want to have?
- Will you be satisfied with a ‘lifestyle’ business where you do enough to earn enough?
- Do you want to grow a large business and employ a large number of people?
- Are you prepared for the times when things may not go so well? How will you deal with problems? How will you deal with success?
- How committed are you to achieving your vision?
What are your motivators?
- Money – have you looked at the costs and the investment required against returns and cash flow forecast?
- Flexibility – Can you achieve what you are setting out to achieve and still remain flexible? In the UK most business owners work a 51.5 and only take 5 days holiday in the first year of trading – according to Barclays bank.
- Autonomy and achievement – If you want to business to escape people then who will serve your customers? Who will sell? Who will deal with customer problems?
Do you accept ownership and accountability for your business decisions?
Are you willing to see mistakes and set backs as learning experiences?
Are you 110% committed to your vision?
Do you believe it will work?
The Power of Vision
A vision is such a powerful and important piece to the success of a business.
If you would like help facilitating a vision session please get in touch.
I’m here to help.
How Can I Help You?
If you can relate to this article and would like to have an informal chat, please get in touch. I would love to support you.