When you look around at the most successful people you know and admire, what is the one commonality that you see amongst them? Are they adept at building and maintaining relationships? Are they brilliant?
What they certainly share is a clarity and absolute faith in the vision that drives them and gives them energy. That lucidity is a powerful force and influences every action and decision they make to advance his or her business. It is a compass, and like other tools, you have to understand how to use it.
Building a business is a journey where you encounter successes and failures; obstacles and support. The latter, in particular, is something to seriously consider. As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry purportedly wrote:
"If you wish to build a ship, do not divide the men to collect wood and assign them tasks and work, but rather, teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."
As a leader and business owner, you need the support of many different people and, by extension, various entities. For instance, take the question of capital. If you need money to fund expansion, or to keep up with a happy increase in sales, drawing from the unwavering certainty you have in your vision enables you to present a vivid, realistic, and compelling story as to why investors should support you.
Drawing from your unwavering certainty in your vision enables you to present a vivid, and compelling story to inspire the support of investors.
When you are passionate and confident about why and what you are doing, you naturally inspire others. This affects the caliber of talent you attract. Companies prefer employees who understand and believe in what the business is trying to achieve. There is a “wow” component to the opinions they hold about their employer. Think of Jeff Bezos of Amazon fame or Steve Jobs of Apple. How many young engineers are clamoring to get in to those two companies, even though there are hundreds of successful places from which they can choose.
Looking at Amazon more closely, you can see just how deeply a clear vision affects the business. Bezos’ focus is customer centric. He is guided by a single belief – a conviction – that Amazon’s success is intrinsically linked to doing what is best for the customer. Everything the company does and everything that has made it so successful is guided by that belief. His vision.
Explore the clarity of your own vision for your company. Can you articulate exactly who you are and why you do the work you do? Once you develop that firm conviction about your ideas, use it to answer those questions and many others. The length of the list might surprise you. Use it to:
Set clear and well-defined measures of success
Identify your specific ideal customers
Define your corporate culture
Influence your employees’ attitudes about their work
Guide you as you create future strategies
Define the often elusive parameters of your unique branding
Your vision - a seemingly simple statement that clarifies your dream - is the single, most strategic, key to seeing your company fully formed and constantly moving in that direction.
Find out if your vision is doing all that it can for you and your success. I invite you to participate in an upcoming online event where I will be exploring this subject in depth. Tune in May 17th at 9:00 AM (PDT). Find out more here.