Lead With a Vision - Principle #2

How to Create a Powerful VISION

In 1961, President Kennedy announced his vision to land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth before the end of the decade.

jfkHe rallied Americans by saying, “In a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the moon… it will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there. If we are to go only half way, or reduce our sights in the face of difficulty, in my judgment it would be better not to go at all.”

President Kennedy’s vision inspired a nation and changed the course of history. In 1969, Neil Armstrong put his left foot down on the moon and declared: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

That vision influenced the 543 people that have since been in space and the 2,465 satellites launched into orbit that provide us with daily services such as television, GPS, and phone service.

A vision might also be called a dream, idea, mission, purpose, or passion.

To have a vision is to see the very best outcome you can imagine–the wisest and most effective thing you can see yourself achieving. It enables you to see things that you otherwise wouldn’t.

In this email, I focus on creating a personal vision. We can discuss creating an organizational or team vision another time.

To create a personal vision, first ask yourself these three questions and take about two minutes on each question. These are designed to get the creative juices flowing in your mind.

1. Where would you like to be and what would you like to have accomplished in 10 or 20 years from now?

2. Think of a mentor or a person who’s had a significant influence for good in your life. What are some of their traits or characteristics that you admire(d)?

3. In 50 years from today, how do you hope others will describe and think of you?

Now, think about the answers you came up with to those questions and on a separate sheet of paper write your personal vision. You can use the BYB Planner or download the Life Organizer app for iOS and Android to record your vision.

************************* WRITE YOUR PERSONAL VISION**********************************

Make sure you keep your vision in a place where you can reference it often. Even better than that is to memorize it and think about it often–let it be your guide.

Weekly Action

1. Create a personal vision. Use the three questions above to get the ideas flowing and then draft your personal vision. Record it on a piece of paper or use the Life Organizer app to keep it in front of you.

2. Read pages 19 – 37 in Becoming Your Best: The 12 Principles of High Successful Leaders for additional ideas and thoughts on the power of a vision.

Does Your Company Look Like This?

During our corporate training events, we often ask each team member if they can recite the corporate or team vision. More often than not, the responses are all very different!

An attractive, worthwhile, and achievable vision for the future is the most powerful engine driving you or your organization toward long-range success!

A vision gives a clear direction to the future. Below is an example of a group or organization with no vision – there’s no clear direction and everyone goes their own direction trying to take care of their individual world.

arrowsNow, contrast the arrows above to the arrows below. These arrows represent a division or individual. Notice that the arrows below are all going the same direction. The difference is properly articulated vision. When there’s a vision, it aligns the direction of the group or organization.

arrows-2A vision can vary in length and simplicity. What’s important is that everyone knows and understands it, and that individuals and groups make decisions based off of the vision.

There is great power to a family and organization that have a clear vision. I wish you a great week as you reflect on or develop your vision!

Weekly Action

1. Develop or revisit your vision for yourself, family, and organization. Allow key participants to have a role in crafting the vision.

2. Read pages 19 – 37 in Becoming Your Best: The 12 Principles of High Successful Leaders for additional ideas and thoughts on the power of a vision.


Creating an INSPIRING Vision

Once you establish an inspiring vision it can give you direction and transform your life for good. The ability to visualize and articulate a possible future state for yourself, a family, a team, or an organization has always been a vital component of successful leadership.

A vision can have huge, lasting results that propel you to achieve your best!

If you already have a vision, let’s see if we can find a way to improve it? If you don’t yet have a vision, let’s help you develop one!

It’s More than a Wall Ornament!

My son, a consultant and former Air Force pilot said,

“When I was a fighter pilot inspecting different squadrons, I would see a vision or mission statement written on the wall. Occasionally, I would pull aside a pilot while doing the inspection and ask them what their squadron vision was. Amazingly, 9 out of 10 times they didn’t know! As a consultant, I’ve found the same thing in many of the organizations I’ve worked with, including many Fortune 500 companies. Employees don’t understand or know the vision”

In those cases, what was the purpose of a vision for that organization?

An effective vision or mission statement is not a wall ornament! A vision is something that every employee and leader should know and understand. It is something that gives clear direction in the absence of leadership and should be referenced often–like at the beginning of every meeting for example.

Personal and family visions can also be very useful! Consider some of the personal visions among those listed below.

Examples of people & organizations with a vision

Mahatma Gandhi
Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:

  • I shall not fear anyone on earth.
  • I shall only fear God.
  • I shall not bear ill toward anyone.
  • I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
  • I shall conquer untruth by truth.
  • And, in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.

Nelson Mandela
I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul.

Henry Ford
Deliver a car that is affordable for every American that wants one!

John F. Kennedy
We will send a man to the moon and return him safely before the end of the decade (said in 1962)!

Southwest Airlines
We operate with a Warrior Spirit, a Servant’s Heart, and a Fun-LUVing Attitude.

Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through innovative hardware, software, and Internet offerings.

Remember, creating a vision and using it to align your actions and resources will be an enormous benefit and tool for you and your organization.

Weekly Action

1. Create or review your vision today! Use the suggestions and examples in this email to develop an inspiring vision that can transform your future. When you invite other key stakeholders to help craft the vision, it often enriches the result.

2. Keep your vision in front of you. Post a written copy of your vision in a visible place in your home or workplace. Talk about the vision regularly with all key stakeholders until it becomes part of the culture and can work its transforming power.

3. E-mail us and tell us specifically how you’re applying this principle this week. Respondents will be entered into a drawing to win a 30 minute FREE coaching session at the end of the quarter.

70% of Americans Admit to This

Over 70% of Americans admit to not being fully engaged at work.

A vision can help increase motivation and engagement. It can help you think in terms of purpose, end-results, and success. Organizations with an effective vision can improve productivity, employee and customer satisfaction, and even the bottom line.

Visions don’t have to be long and complex. In fact, oftentimes the most effective visions can be so simple they can be communicated in just a few sentences—or even less! A recent acquaintance had the following written on a mirror in his house (which could be a personal vision):


I am a person of deep character.

I give my 100% best effort.

I am a delight to work with.

I am in great shape and have a healthy body.

I am a loving and faithful spouse.

This simple vision helped this man turn thoughts into action. It was likely memorized in less than a minute, yet provided the needed motivation throughout each day.

Consider this other short company vision and the alignment it would create within a team and organization, “We over-deliver and provide an outstanding customer experience!” The most successful leaders will start each meeting with the vision. In the example above, the team leader could ask one of the team members the question, “What does it mean to you to provide an outstanding customer experience?” That whole interchange would take less than a couple of minutes. When a leader starts with the vision, it generates buy-in and starts a thought provoking process of how the team can more fully make the vision a reality.

Clear, specific, and inspiring! This example of a vision gave the company a solid objective to work towards. It provided a framework in which to establish goals and make plans.

Vision statements can also be used in your personal life and with your family. One of the habits of high achievers and great leaders is they have a personal vision that gets them excited. Their personal vision becomes an affirmation and gives them clear personal direction. It’s never to late to start. In a seminar, there was once a 92 year old man who said, “I can’t wait to get started!” That’s the entire spirit of Becoming Your Best.

Weekly Action

1. As a group, review your vision and discuss two or three areas of focus to help make that vision a reality. If you need to develop or improve your team vision, click here for tips on how to create a powerful vision. From today forward, commit to start every meeting with the vision. Oftentimes it will take less than 30 seconds and it will set the tone for the meeting.

2. Individually, develop a personal vision that gets you excited!

3. Read pages 19 – 37 in Becoming Your Best: The 12 Principles of High Successful Leaders for additional ideas and thoughts on the power of a vision.

Have a wonderful week!