The Donald stood and delivered a blistering rebuke of the past and outlined his vision for our country. Like him or not, he laid it out for public acceptance or rejection. My guess is, not many of us as a new CEO, on the first day in the position, has the courage to articulate our vision for the organization. Worse yet, many CEO’s never do!
To tell all your employees and other stakeholders where you see the business in 5 to 15 years is tedious and requires a lot of repetition. Your employees are no different from your customers, and they both need to hear your vision 7 or more times before it sinks in.
Strong self-direction and role-awareness are part of being a leader. In addition, you cannot lead a business if you do not have a long-term strategic plan and vision for yourself and your company.
I see this frequently in business owners who choose to keep their vision to themselves. In doing so, they risk alienating and adding to the stress of their employees. Share it! Share your plan and vision! When you do, you end up with engaged, encouraged and enthusiastic employees.
Just as your marketing messages need to be seen and/or heard seven or more times, your employees need to see and hear your vision for the business multiple times. Spaced repetition — that is reading or listening to new information 5 to 6 days in a row — creates a 62% retention rate for 15 years and longer. That is how you learned the ABC’s and multiplication tables as a child, and you still know that information, right? The investment that you as the leader make in repeating your vision to your employees will be returned in the form of an informed workforce who feels like a stakeholder in the company’s success.
You receive numerous rewards from owning or managing a company. Growth, income and satisfaction are a few, and you cannot accomplish any of them without your employees. Often, we see a leader who was a CEO in a large company accept an assignment in a smaller firm. In their prior position, they had more resources and may have left the topic of sharing their vision to the Human Resources Department and the employee handbooks. In their new position, that tactic could prove to be an error with big consequences.
Your vision is a strategic direction that is intended to guide the organization for a period of 5-15 years. Your vision statement is how you describe what your organization aspires to become under your leadership. Having a clear picture of where you want to take the organization and what that will look like and communicating that to your team is the foundation of your success.
Liken your vision to a road map. If you were directed to drive from your home to a place across the country, you would not begin without a map or directions. Your role as a leader is to get your employees focused upon the future and your road map for their future.
Be authentic as you share your vision for the organization and be honest. I have seen a CEO pass out 3×5 cards asking the staff for input, which is great, but the input is never used. His staff will no longer ask a question in a meeting for fear of disregard.
Sharing ‘why” your organization exists is part of your vision (that is the 5-15 years) along with its and your mission (12-18 months) is the beginning of a process that will hopefully include objectives, values and specific actions. Your vision, shared throughout the organization, is a foundation for success and should not be overlooked or delegated. It defines your role as the leader as well as gives you your purpose. Get out in front with your vision and lead.
Here are a few vision, mission and values statements that I have assisted my clients in developing. Interestingly, most of them had never conducted that exercise with their executives and board of directors.
Vision Statements: Are crafted to last 5 to 15 years.
“To Be The Financial Services Provider Of Choice In The Communities We Serve.”
“We enrich lives in our mountain communities while helping members achieve their financial dreams.”
“The XYZ Group provides solutions to help others create a brighter tomorrow”
- Fulfillment: Individual flexibility and autonomy
- Achievement: Help Clients reveal and release their potential.
- Satisfaction: Personal rewards and community service
“XYZ Consulting is a growing consulting practice focused on finding the “Right Path” to better performance for individuals and organizations. We are professionally challenged to be creative and thoughtful. We are professionally fulfilled with seeing demonstrable results in our clients.”
“XYZ Credit Union exists to provide a broad range of high quality financial services through sound fiscal policy and balanced financial programs. The policies and programs are intended to be sensitive to meeting the needs of the members and strive for mutual benefit with the sponsors.”
Mission/Strategic Objectives: I see these as different from values; but they have to support your values. Thus, I refer to them as strategic objectives so as not to argue semantics at a planning session. These are crafted to last 12-18 months and reviewed annually to ascertain that they remain relevant to your vision and the environment in which your organization is operating.
To deliver the highest level of personal financial services to our members in a unique, friendly, and superior manner; to meet the financial needs of the underserved in our communities; to encourage thrift, savings, and the prudent use of credit; to provide sound financial management in order to maintain earnings for our continued growth; and to provide our employees with a challenging, inspiring, and rewarding career.
To provide the highest level of personal financial services in a friendly, professional manner; to encourage thrift, savings and the wise use of credit; to increase the knowledge and ability of our members to manage and control their financial well-being; to provide sound financial management in order to maintain earnings for our continued growth and to provide our employees with a challenging and rewarding career.
Our mission is to provide personal financial services of a superior quality to the members/owners; our chief concern being their financial well-being. We desire to be the primary financial institution of our members. We will use automation and technology to support a highly trained group of volunteers and staff. Professional managers will be accountable for the quality of service and will be given sufficient flexibility in implementing policy to ensure that the member perceives the highest degree of excellence in every contact. Professional marketing will provide aggressive programs to sustain and increase growth. We will seek our growth both from new members and by serving the financial needs of present members in a more complete manner. We will not sacrifice quality of present services to seek growth. In order to provide quality member services, the credit union must remain financially sound and secure. Adequate operating controls, capital reserves and liquidity will be maintained at all times. We will be sales oriented in our approach to members, but traditional credit union philosophy will remain our guiding principle. Among financial institutions, this credit union is a unique organization with deep and abiding human values. Our goal is to maintain those qualities.
XYZ Credit Union is committed to providing quality financial services to the community sphere, which includes Southern California. We are dedicated to serving the members’ best interest, to provide value relative to cost, and to earn their trust and confidence by operating in an ethical and financially sound manner.
We are dedicated to serving our worldwide membership in an efficient and professional manner by motivated employees who share in our organization’s success, while enhancing our member’s financial health and quality of life through the application of innovation and technology accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We will care for our Members’ needs with efficiency, integrity and interest. We will provide the communities in which we operate access to an innovative, relevant and integrated product range. These products and services will be provided in a mutually beneficial cost structure that encourages growth and development both for Members and the Credit Union.
Building lifelong relationships one member at a time.
To develop and foster a strong team to drive consistent profitability, pursue growth opportunities and achieve operational excellence.