If you’re unsure of where your company is headed, how are your employees going to know?

If someone were to ask you what it is that you and your business are trying to accomplish, would you have a good answer? If you struggle for a response, you’re most likely lacking a vision. And if your vision is limited, you can bet your team’s vision is lacking as well.

People follow leaders and organizations that think bigger than themselves and who articulate that vision clearly to others. People won’t stay committed to someone or to an organization that fails to inspire them.

Vision provides motivation and goals. It’s a way of framing an organization’s purpose in broader, universal terms. A good vision statement is inspiring, yet understandable. It provides content, context and connection.

But perhaps most importantly, it motivates people to work together toward achieving it. Simply put, a good vision statement provides leadership.

And let’s face it, people feel better about their work, their roles and their team when there is a common, clear and inspiring vision.


A sense of purpose

Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) has a powerful vision statement. Our vision is “to motivate and empower individuals to make a positive difference within our global society, through understanding and action, based on effective and compassionate leadership.”

This statement matches and amplifies the purpose of HOBY and our volunteers, staff and students connect to it. It inspires us as we go about our work and gives us a broader, greater purpose beyond the day-to-day activities. Regardless of an individual’s role in the organization, their efforts are contributing toward the overall vision.

Staying motivated and inspired in a situation where vision and leadership are lacking can be truly difficult. This is where an individual or personal vision statement is critical.

Anyone can and everyone should have a personal vision statement, something that speaks to and motivates him or her. My personal vision statement is “to consistently perform to the best of my abilities, in an ethical and trustworthy manner, while providing outstanding leadership that inspires me and those around me to greater levels of success.”

A little corny, I know, but it provides me with a vision to fall back on, regardless of the circumstances I find myself in. It also helps me to model good leadership and followership — leadership because it provides a guide for all my professional interactions, which if done correctly, may inspire others as well. Followership because it makes me accountable to my own goals and values, as well as to those I work with.

My vision statement is also portable. And while it may undergo periodic revisions, it will go with me to whatever other professional experiences are in my future.


Find your own purpose

If you don’t have a personal vision statement, craft one. It’s a good exercise for examining your values, purpose and motivation for the work you do and the people and organizations you lead.

Asking individuals on your team to create and share their personal vision statement is also a good team building/bonding exercise. It creates deeper understanding of and connection to the people you work with, leading to stronger teamwork and better outcomes.