One of my favorite sayings is “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” Many Entrepreneurs and CEOs tend to forget the importance of setting a Vision for their organization. Sometimes, the daily grind gets in the way and being the keeper of the vision doesn’t stay on the priority list.
There are numerous books, blogs, and articles on the topic of vison and mission statements. Yet, people generally confuse the difference of the vision and mission. Therefore, I like to keep it simple. Based on my experiences, the Vision is the WHAT, Where or Who you want the company to become and the Mission is the WHY the company exists.
A vision statement should have the ability to inspire and motivate others around a concept or idea. It can establish a benchmark, provide line of sight, direction, and purpose in which the organization can measure our actions and our core values.
Crafting a vision should establish something on the horizon that is out of our comfort zone, challenges us to stretch ourselves, yet somewhat attainable. It should clearly indicate the direction in which you want to move towards. This allows others to invest in the future with an understanding of their purpose as an employee. When creating a vision there are a few things leaders should address.
What is your core focus?
What is your unique ability? What is your differentiator?
Who, What or Where does the company want to be in five to ten years?
When I owned Carolina Ingredients, a seasoning manufacturing company, our mission statement was “We make the world taste better”. It was simple, something all employees would identify with, and something they could envision.
Both the what (the vision) and the why (the mission) should be interwoven in the cultural fabric of the organization and are paramount for aligning the employees around what the CEO wants to accomplish.
The Mission, The Why, sets an inspirational tone and mindset. It provides a purpose for the Vision. Simon Sinek’s Ted Talks and book “Start with the Why” are great examples of aligning others around your Vision and Mission.
As an entrepreneur or CEO, are you inspiring? Are you intentional about living and being an example of the Vision? Do you invest in your teams, create a purpose?
There are numerous examples of financially successful companies who have lost their compass. In the end it cost them much more than financial success, it cost them their reputation. Thus, be intentional with your vision.
Cheers and Be in Gratitude,