Is Your Vision Compelling Enough to Inspire Action?

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At the beginning of a new year – is that time when we make resolutions and set goals for the upcoming year. Sadly, the next month many of those resolutions and goals will be discarded by the side of the road and more will suffer that same fate as the months go by – left abandoned and unrealized — until the beginning of a new year when the process starts all over again.

Why is it that whether personal or business so many of our goals remain unrealized – even when we resolve that this time will be different? The answer:

Our resolutions and goals are not supported by a compelling Vision.

A Vision is the image of what life will be like once you have achieved your goals. It is what gives us direction and keeps us going even in the face of barriers and set-backs. It is what inspires others to join us on our journey. To increase the probability of achieving your goals they must be tied to and they must support a compelling Vision.

When you don’t have a compelling Vision for your life, business or career, it is like driving on a winding mountain road through very dense fog. Your foot is on the brake most of the time, you are hesitant to take action and it’s not a lot of fun. Now imagine the fog lifts, you put your food on the gas, navigate the curves with confidence and enjoy the journey. As the fog lifts and you gain clarity, others will join and support you on that journey.

Having a strong and compelling Vision is one of the key elements of effective leadership. When developing their program, Work of Leaders, Inscape Publishing (now a division of Wiley) found that experienced leaders see Vision as critical to their work while many less experienced leaders are quick to dismiss its importance. Research done by Inscape found that 87% of those leaders rated highest created a strong Vision for the groups future while only 10% of the lowest rated leaders did so.

The authors of the book, The Work of Leaders: How Vision, Alignment, and Execution will Change the Way You Lead exert, “In our collective experience one of the biggest differentiators between those who are skilled leaders and those who are unskilled leaders, between those who are really leading and those who are leaders in name only, is their effort and ability to craft a compelling vision of where they want to take their groups”.

In my work as a consultant, coach and business advisor in the area of leadership, I have seen first-hand the effect that lack of Vision has on the accomplishment of goals and I have identified eight components of a compelling Vision. Below are three of the eight. If you want to be sure your goals are supported by a compelling Vision so you can motivate not only yourself but others to take the necessary action to get the results you desire, you can download a free, step-by-step worksheet for developing a compelling Vision that addresses all eight components at strategies-by-design.com/free-resources/. The information below will get you started.

  • Describe what life will be like once your Vision is realized: Develop a three dimensional, living color description of what life will be like when your Vision is realized. This not only gives you direction and motivation, it is critical to others getting on board and taking the actions that need to be taken. As a leader it is not enough for you to be bought into the direction and take action, your staff, peers and even those above you must also buy in and take action. For added measure, you may also want to also include a picture of what life will be like if your Vision is not realized.
  • Make sure your Vision includes the “Why”. Your Vision must include not only what you want, it must also include why you want it – what will achieving your Vision do for you? It is the “why” that keeps you (and others) going when you encounter barriers, frustrations and setbacks. It is the “why” that provides motivation to you and your team. Answer the question, “What will achieving this Vision do for me – how will it positively impact my life, business or career?”
  • Answer the question, “How will realizing this Vision positively impact others?” Write a statement that describes how this Vision will positively impact – perhaps even transform – the lives of others including your family, clients, staff, community and your world. As a leader, it is especially important that you clearly understand how realizing the Vision you have will impact your team. This is what will allow you to get buy-in of those from whom you need support. It is what will motivate your team to take the action you need them to take.

When your Vision contains all eight components of a compelling Vision, you no longer have to rely on self-discipline and will power to achieve your goals. Download the step-by-step worksheet now to inspire yourself and your team to take action, achieve goals and realize your Vision.

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