Get real on your vision — and reap the rewards

By Edward Plant

Everyone talks about vision and values being important. Most people, at a cursory level, get that they’re important.

From what I see though, that’s where it ends.

For example…  Two elections ago I was sitting listening to a politician who was going for Prime Minister at the next election.  Just me and 1000 others! During his address, he spoke about his vision. At the end of it I was left uninspired, unclear and wondering where this person would take our country.

Rewind a little bit further back… I was sitting listening to US General Stanley McChrystal talking about Afghanistan and US involvement. This guy was amazing.  At the end of it, regardless of my perceptions and beliefs I would have followed that guy into war.  Well actually I did, but that’s a story for another blog.

When we consider these two examples, we can realise two very different results. If I had to choose two words to describe the different outcomes they would be:

APATHETIC:  Showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern;

MOMENTUM: The impetus gained by a moving object.

I think as business owners, we all get this — at one level or another. We get the importance of Vision. We get that it shapes our destiny and the impact that we have.  But what doesn’t happen is the transfer of this in a clear, concise way throughout your business — to your team to your customers; to everyone in your communities that you come into contact with.

So what is the impact of this to your business?

I believe a couple of things happen.

POOR RESULTS

I believe if you don’t implement your vision and values across your organization you won’t achieve the results that are truly possible for your business.  

As a couple in business, if you aren’t both ‘on the-same-page’ you won’t achieve a tenth of what you’re capable of.  Take our businesses for example.  Every time I get Bec clear on the vision of where I want to take something, our results happen faster and better then when I don’t. It doesn’t mean that Bec isn’t supporting me — she always does.  It’s just that every time we’re focused and both on par with our vision and direction, our results happen faster, easier and better than they do otherwise.

This is critical when it comes to your partner, but also with your team.  

Staff find it very discouraging to work for a boss whose vision is to make more money.  

Get your staff invested in the real impact you want to achieve and your business results will soar.  

Our work with one client involved defining their  vision from “be the industry leader” to something along the lines of “providing sustainable energy to protect the environment and, at the same time, families’ money”. As a result of this shift, staff were able to communicate this to potential clients and the end result was  more sales and less customer dissatisfaction.  

INCONGRUENCE

The next result for your business of poor or lacking vision is first one is incongruence.

This is the old ‘do what I say, not what I do’ chestnut.  

Don’t get me wrong — most of you aren’t doing this on purpose, it’s just you’re busy, you can’t easily say your vision out aloud, and perhaps you don’t know how to walk-the-vision.  

The impact of incongruence effects you in a number of ways.  

Firstly, it it’s HARD.  Things don’t flow as they could.  When you aren’t clear on your vision, you’re torn between numerous projects and ‘things-to-do’.  

The next thing is, it causes FRICTION.  

What do you think happens when your team or customers hear you espouse something and then they see you do the opposite.  This could be as simple as “Be on time” and then you turn up late to a meeting. Believe me — this causes friction! Then iImagine the effect this friction can and does have on customers. It’s DISHEARTENING.  

When I was in the Army I HATED when a commander would talk about a big mission and then how we were going to achieve it  — and then either chop-and-change what was happening all the time or do something that didn’t align with what they had described.  It was disheartening and I struggled giving it my best in these circumstances.

STAY BUSY

When you are no clear on your vision you will forever stay BUSY, dealing with an endless stream of projects and tasks.  Without the vision you cannot be clear on your “Main Effort” (this is an Army term for a designated element whose mission at a given point in time is most critical to overall mission success). You can probably guess the result of this — yep, you continue being involved in everything.

For your vision to become a reality you need to get out of doing, doing, doing so much and focus your energies on your “Main Effort”.

Beyond these three, there are plenty of more ways that your business is impacted when you’re not clear on your vision.

So are you living your vision?

What do you need to do to refine and transfer your vision into your business? If you could use some help, why not sound me out? Our complementary 15-minute clarity can give you some simple strategies to get this moving in your business. We invite you to book your slot here.

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About the Author

Edward is the Co-Founder and Lead Strategist at the Institute for Couples in Business. When he’s not nutting out smart strategies you’ll find him hanging out with wife and business partner Rebecca and his sons Samuel, 4, and Charles, 2. For the past seven years Ed has been working with business owners to double profits, halve hours and build self-sustaining business that thrives with or without you. Ed is also author of #1 best-seller Lead-The-Ship and a sought-after guest speaker who often gets mistaken for Prince Harry.