5 Vision-Casting Tips for Business Leaders
Anyone can have a good idea and create a product or two. But it takes someone special to build a brand with staying power. In order to do the latter, you must be a leader. Unfortunately, casting vision is a challenge that most entrepreneurs and business owners are entirely ill-equipped to tackle. But with a little practice, it’s something you can do.
Why Vision Matters
“Developing a vision is a powerful enterprise. It serves as a guiding force for an organization, team, or individual,” writes Daniel Goulet, Senior Project Lead for PinnacleART. “A vision is a ‘why’ statement. It lets outsiders know the meaning behind an action, decision, or effort and can help them connect on a deeper emotional level with the cause. It helps insiders coordinate and validate their goals, risks, and opportunities.”
Vision engages employees and even attracts talented individuals who want to be a part of something that’s bigger than themselves. It communicates value to customers and makes people pay attention.
Vision and strategy go hand in hand. It tells people what you’ve done, what you’re doing, and what you’re aiming for. An articulate vision leaves no room for question or confusion.
How to Successfully Cast the Right Vision
We can all agree that vision is important – but how do you cast it in a manner that compels people to respond? If you speak to successful entrepreneurs, industry titans, and business leaders, they’ll harp on the following tips and concepts:
- Dream Big
Vision casting starts with dreaming. Just for a moment, block out all of the noise and forget how things are in the present. If you could shape your business into anything, what would it look like ten years from now? Take money out of the equation and dig deeper. What is it that you truly want for your business? This is your vision.
- Involve Your Team
You may find it helpful to include a handful of key employees or mentors in your dream sessions. Your business is bigger than any one person, so it’s nice to gather multiple opinions and thoughts. Many business leaders find that there’s a common thread between each person’s dream. This common thread becomes the vision for the future.
- Craft a Vision Statement
Once you have an abstract idea of what your vision is, clarify it in the form of a written vision statement. There are plenty of vision statement frameworks and formulas – so feel free to find one that works for you. But you really don’t need to follow a rigid process. A vision statement is nothing more than a simple, articulate phrase that explains what you’re business is trying to accomplish. Here are some examples from popular companies:
- IKEA: “Our vision is to create a better everyday life for many people.”
- Nike: “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
- Patagonia: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
You’ve already done the hard part of dreaming and gathering ideas. When crafting a vision statement, you’re simply consolidating your thoughts into a crisp sentence that clarifies these ideas for everyone.
- Implement Tangible Action Steps
It’s nice to paste your vision statement on your website and in shiny marketing materials, but these words are empty without action. The next step is to develop tangible action steps that your business can rely on to reach toward this mission with purpose, conviction, and consistency.
- Regularly Review and Realign
Casting vision isn’t something you do and then forget about. It’s a constant process that’s evolving. Take time to regularly review how your business is doing and don’t be afraid to realign your core business activities – including sales and marketing – when things get out of whack. There may even come a time when your vision morphs into something else. Be open to these influences.
Leading With Purpose
Leadership without vision is like competing in a grueling sporting event without having any intentions of winning. Sure, you can do it, but you aren’t going to be very successful.
Learn to cast vision, and you’ll find that success isn’t as elusive as it previously seemed. Once you uncover the principles of vision casting, everything else will make sense.