Realizing the vision

A well-crafted vision can put your company on the right course. But it’s up to the people in the business to man the rudder and stay the course.

It’s a lesson that Dave Gordon has taught to his 75 employees at Regency Windows Corp., where he serves as president and CEO. Gordon focuses everyone in the company on his vision and enables his employees to achieve it through their own talents and abilities.

“For me, leadership starts with a vision for the business and a purpose for everyone,” Gordon says. “And my leadership style is very much consensus building, communication and dialogue with the team.”

Smart Business spoke with Gordon about how you can build a vision and get everyone on board with it.

Q. What goes into constructing the vision?

The vision for the business is, at its essence, a set of objectives. It’s a direction in which you and your team head, a direction in which you take the business.

Our vision encompasses financial objectives, personal performance objectives, how we pay off on the values we have at the company. It encompasses our role in the community. It is kind of a holistic approach to what we are as an enterprise and what we want to accomplish. That is the foundation for what we do at the company, the foundation for my leadership style, the foundation for what we’re all about as a team.

Q. How complicated can you make a vision?

There are levels. In its simplest forms, when we talk about the organization, we’ll talk about our values, what matters most for us. For us, it’s simple words like, ‘Do the right thing.’ For us, that’s almost a rallying cry. It’s something we developed as a team, and it’s a phrase that helps everyone understand what we expect, what is OK and what is not OK, how we measure ourselves and what constitutes success here at the organization.

In its broadest form, you can communicate the vision that way. If you dial it up a notch to the leadership team, the vision might have some other elements added in that would be appropriate for the leadership team, such as financial objectives.