September 22, 2019 //

When Your Vision Statement Lacks Vision

There exists today a very famous cosmetics company whose Vision Statement is composed of 251 words, covering everything from surpassing competitors to increasing shareholder value to fighting cancer.  

That’s not a Vision Statement; it’s an encyclopedia. 

Sadly, I’d wager to say that most Vision Statements are… anything but visionary.

Conversely, a True Agile Leader’s vision statement is short and clear. It is positive, it is exciting, and it is compelling.

And it’s not the same thing as the company’s goals or objectives; those come from the head. A vision is a dream – it comes from the heart.

And once a True Agile Leader has crafted his/her Vision Statement, it is imperative that his/her teams KNOW it… LIVE it… BREATHE it. Because True Agile Vision Statements are literally the heart and soul of every organization.

True Agile Vision Statements INSPIRE

  • Action (to pull in ideas, people and resources)
  • Loyalty
  • Company pride
  • Change
  • Unity

True Agile Vision Statements serve as ROADMAPS for…

  • Planning
  • Goalsetting
  • Making tough decisions
  • Evaluating results

One of my FAVORITE vision statements is Southwest Air’s: “To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

Why do I love that one? Well… first of all, it’s easy to remember. But more importantly, it can be used to shape every single decision Southwest Air employees make, regardless of their job titles. Every time a flight attendant responds to his or her call button, every time a gate agent converses with an unhappy customer, every time a baggage handler transfers a bag onto the conveyor belt… with every email, every phone call, every meeting… the employees can ask themselves “Will what I’m doing right now contribute to Southwest Air becoming the most loved, most flown and most profitable airline?”

So here’s my challenge for you today.  Does your organization’s Vision Statement shape and inspire all of your and your team’s decisions – large and small? Do you even know what it is? Could you recite it anytime anywhere, without having to look it up? Would you know where to look it up? And most importantly, does it inspire you and your team to do your best… to be your best? 

Give that some thought. In the meantime, for a comedic dramatization of this topic, take a listen to another Podcast in our “Traditional Manager Mistakes” Series called Most Vision Statements are Useless

Please leave your thoughts below.  As always, we love to hear from you!

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