Vision is our view of the future. Vision is the portrait of our hopes and dreams. It is our mental picture of what might be, but is not yet. Vision gives us a sense of purpose and guides us as we work in the present. In organizations, a vision statement articulates what the organization aspires to accomplish.
Organizations need a vision, but they also need leaders who communicate that vision. Employees look to their leaders to provide an image of the future. Leaders who can clearly articulate their vision inspire others to join them on the journey. The more excited you are about where you’re going, the more likely others are to join you.
Sharing your vision, and being receptive to other people’s suggestions for that vision, builds a common purpose. It helps people see the bigger picture of why they are working – it motivates them. Leaders who can articulate a compelling vision for the future that connects with people will inspire them to join in working toward that vision.
I have not always been intentional enough about communicating our vision. In recent years, I have been more deliberate about this, and I have quickly seen the benefits. Now, whenever possible, I share our organization’s vision with employees. In addition to telling them what I’m thinking, I also listen to their feedback. I have found that the more I talk with others, the clearer our vision for the future becomes.
Very few large-scale visions have ever been achieved without the help of others. As a result of this realization, I have learned that it is important to ask employees to share their thoughts and offer suggestions for the vision of the organization. The insights they have offered have altered our organization’s vision in many positive ways.
By including others in our thinking and planning for the future, we have created a shared and inclusive future – one that everyone in our organization can feel proud of.
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