A Clear Vision Statement Gives You Direction
Perfect eyesight is measured by how clearly you can see at 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, according to your optometrist, your visual acuity is sharp and clear for 20 feet. If only the future of your business was so distinct and easy to measure.
A mission statement is supposed to embody your passion, your raison d’être. In other words, it reveals who you are and what you do. Your vision statement, on the other hand, answers the how and why of your company. And it involves a little fortune-telling and gazing into the future. Your vision explains where you see your business going.
Just as a clear mission defines your daily work, your vision forms the basis of the roadmap to your future. You’ve undoubtedly heard the saying: “You’ll never know when you get there if you don’t have a destination in mind.” Wandering willy-nilly through the business world is no way to build something of value, something that lasts and something that you can be proud of.
A vision statement also helps you attract talent, people who want what you want and align with your mission. Sure, every business owner wants to make money, and that should clearly be part of your vision. But it has to be inspirational, too. Making money for money’s sake is cold, even in a capitalist society like America.
So what if you make a lot of money? That accomplishment doesn’t always equate to happiness or fulfillment. For proof, just look at the hundreds of millionaire athletes and entertainers who use drugs or other numbing behaviors to mask their feelings. Do you think they’re really happy or fulfilled?
Gotta See Clearly Now
Like sight, a company’s vision statement needs to encompass reality in all its technicolor. Truly satisfying work makes you feel good; it makes your team feel good; and ultimately it allows your customers and associated partners and vendors to feel good. Tapping into a goal with altruistic intentions makes for a satisfying life, something worth all the hours you put into it.
A vision statement doesn’t necessarily have to be attainable, either. Some might complain that vision statements often are too pie-in-the-sky and unreachable, if not outright misleading. But if you can contribute in even a small way to a future that comes closer to your vision, then you’ve been true to your values and maybe helped someone in the process. Take, for example, a few visions statements that are nice in their sentiment, but tough to really imagine:
- Microsoft’s written vision statement: “To help individuals and businesses realize their full potential.”
- Alzheimer’s Association goes big: “A world without Alzheimer’s disease.”
- Walmart really cares about all of us with its vision statement: “To be the best retailer in the hearts and minds of consumers and employees.”
- And who better to guide a vision statement than the American Optometric Association: To be “the acknowledged leader and recognized authority for eye and vision care in the world.”
Big Vision Statements Mean Big Returns
The bigger your vision, the greater impact you just may make on the world. Of course, as with all global visions, you’ve got to start at home. For example, the partners at Ray Access have a mission to “get everyone to appreciate and evaluate the media in their lives,” and to make communication understandable and valuable.
As a vision statement, we strive “to strengthen the written word to give every company in the world words that empower their business.” If we did that, we’d definitely make money, but more importantly, we’d play a huge role in maintaining the English language and reminding consumers that they can get a clear message.
We believe we do that for our clients and their customers. We also strive to help business leaders show respect for their customers by presenting their messages clearly and consistently — every time. Nothing less than 20/20. We invite you along, too. What’s your big vision?