The odds are very good that you already have a vision for your business. If you didn’t, you probably wouldn’t be writing a business plan. Putting that vision into a cohesive statement will help you build your mission statement. You can then go on to establish goals and objectives for your business that will be in alignment with your vision—for yourself and for your company. A solid vision supported by a clear mission statement will help you implement principle-based values and business practices that keep you on track to fulfilling your stated company mission.
Walt Disney pitched his vision for Disneyland some 600+ times to convince some 30+ investors to fund the project! Imagine that all they could really see was a vast orchard of orange trees and hear about a mountain with a roller coaster, a mono-rail (what’s that?!?) that encircled the park, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland… Was he crazy?!? Seems most thought so, but you only need enough to believe!
Be sure to review “Developing a Personal Mission Statement” in the Pre-Planning section of BizPlanBuilder, for additional assistance in applying your vision to the development of your mission statement.
Below, you’ll find a discussion of Vision from the book, First Things First, by Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill and Rebecca R. Merrill. The Franklin Covey Company has kindly granted us permission to include these excerpts:
- Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychologist who survived the death camps of Nazi Germany, made a significant discovery. As he found within himself the capacity to rise above his humiliating circumstances, he became an observer as well as a participant in the experience. He watched others who shared the ordeal. He was intrigued by the question of what made it possible for some people to survive when most died.
- He looked at several factors—health, family structure, intelligence, survival skills. Finally, he concluded that none of these factors was primarily responsible. The single most significant factor, he realized, was a sense of future vision—the impelling conviction of those who were to survive that they had a mission to perform, some important work left to do.
- Survivors of POW camps in Vietnam and elsewhere have reported similar experiences: a compelling, future-oriented vision is the primary force that kept many of them alive. The power of vision is incredible! Research indicates that children with “future-focused role images” perform far better scholastically and are significantly more competent in handling the challenges of life. Teams and organizations with a strong sense of mission significantly outperform those without the strength of vision. According to Dutch sociologist Fred Polak, a primary factor influencing the success of civilization in the “collective vision” people have of their future.
Vision is the best manifestation of creative imagination and the primary motivation of human action. It’s the ability to see beyond our present reality, to create, to invent what does not yet exist, to become what we not yet are. It gives us the capacity to live out of our imagination instead of our memory.
We all have some vision of ourselves and our future. And that vision creates consequences. More than any other factor, vision affects the choices we make and the way we spend our time.
Vision That Transforms & Transcends
When we talk about “the passion of vision,” we’re talking about a deep, sustained energy that comes from a comprehensive, principle-based, need-based, endowment-based seeing that goes beyond chronos and even kairos. It deals with an aeon concept of time, from the Greek aion, meaning an age, a lifetime or more. It taps into the deep core of who we are and what we are about. It’s fueled by the realization of the unique contribution we have the capacity to make—the legacy we can leave. It clarifies purpose, gives direction, and empowers us to perform beyond our resources.
We call it “passion” because this vision can become a motivating force so powerful it, in effect, becomes the DNA of our lives. It’s so ingrained and integrated into every aspect of our being that it becomes the compelling impetus behind every decision we make. It’s the fire within—the explosion of inner synergy that happens when critical mass is reached in the integration of the four fundamental needs. It’s the energy that makes life an adventure—the deep burning “yes!” that empowers us to say “no”—peacefully and confidently—to the less important things in our lives.
This passion can empower us to literally transcend fear, doubt, discouragement, and many other things that keep us from accomplishment and contribution.
The power of transcendent vision is greater than the power of the scripting deep inside the human personality and it subordinates it, submerges it, until the whole personality is reorganized in the accomplishment of that vision.
The passion of shared vision empowers people to transcend the petty, negative interactions that consume so much time and effort and deplete the quality of life.
The passion of the kind of vision we’re talking about has a transforming, transcending impact—probably the greatest impact of any single factor on time and quality of life.
With your vision and mission clearly defined, you can move confidently into the process of developing your business concept and your business plan. Over time, you will probably discover what many others have found—the unexpected reward of great satisfaction in what you are doing as you align your business activities with your vision and mission.
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