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You may have heard of a business having a mission statement. Well, a vision statement is just as important to have. When writing your vision statement, you want to make sure you’re very effective and inspiring so that people follow it. You might be wondering what exactly is a vision statement and how it is different from a mission statement. Read on to find out! 

What Makes an Effective Vision?

A great example of an effective vision statement can be found at the company Microsoft’s headquarters. It goes as follows: “There will be a personal computer on every desk running Microsoft software.” This makes it clear what their business’s goal is. It describes an outcome. It is concise and doesn’t generalize. A vision statement starts with a simple, short summary that is very powerful and passionate. 

People actually follow a vision statement when they make a commitment to upholding it as a principle. One of the first steps to building an effective business vision is to invite your team to commit to one. Allow your team to be a part of creating it. If your team can be a part of it, they will value it more. If you can, then, turn the company’s values into guiding principles, people won’t be so confused about what to follow. When the team is valued and asked to collaborate on the vision statement, its members grow through collaborating. Finally, when collaborating is encouraged, there’s no confusion about who matters, because each member is valuable.

As Will Durant once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” As I said before, commitment takes repetition and is what you will need to accomplish an effective vision. So, when you are recruiting new people to your business, settle on those people who share common values with you and who would view your vision as a guiding principle. 

How Do You Get People to Follow Your Vision?

Posting your vision statement in common areas so that it can be practiced daily, is a great way to help your team understand the meaning behind your business. It will help your team find the value in what you are doing at work everyday. People’s actions can drift astray and not match up with the company’s values at times. To help enforce your vision statement, you can use it as a tool in staff performance reviews

The following technique from Forbes magazine is a way to take the steps to get people to follow your vision.

  • Acquire
  • Develop
  • Encourage
  • Plan
  • Transition

First, acquire and recruit people who have common values with your company’s vision. Secondly, develop your employees on the same page as what your guiding principles are for your company so that they can meet big goals and smaller objectives. Then, reward your employees who deliver the vision repeatedly as an act of encouragement. And, finally, take your guiding principles into consideration when you move your employees to different roles within the company, or move them out of the company.

How Does Vision Inspire and Move People?

A vision provides a future-oriented, vivid, mental image of where you want your business to be. By turning your vision into writing, you will have a vision statement that will answer the question, “Where are we going?” This will inspire creativity in your employees to dream of a bigger picture. In that sense, it acts as a starting point to move onward from with your creative visions at hand.

  • A vision is future-oriented
  • A vision is a starting point
  • A vision breaks the status-quo

Having a vision can stop your business from heading in the wrong direction or being too much like your competitors. In order to do that, your vision statement should reflect your view of the world and the place of your business in it. 

What Is the Role of Vision in Business?

The role of the vision statement is to give you and your team a shining mental image of what your business’s goals and aspirations are, so that your team can clearly focus on them. It is something in writing that you can reference if you ever feel you’ve gone astray from what you were meant to do or you feel that your customers aren’t getting what they need from you. This is the role of the vision statement in your business. Once you understand this, it can help you sketch the core values that you would like to promote as a company.

What is the Difference Between Vision and Mission?

A vision statement writes out where you would like to be in the future in your company, where as a mission statement evaluates what your business is currently doing. One is a vision of the future, where as the other is an understanding of how your company operates everyday in order to get there eventually by achieving its smaller objectives.

It can be a little confusing because some people use vision statement and mission statement interchangeably. However, I hope I made clear the distinction. An example of a mission statement is this one by Nike: “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.” It describes what the company does everyday with its products. It explains why the business does what it does and why it does it everyday.

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This is just a glimpse of the whole mission statement. The whole mission statement describes what the company can do not only for its customers, but also for its employees and management. Just like vision statements, mission statements are tough to write, but with patience and good effort, it can be achieved and your business can reap the best rewards for your eager efforts!

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