Understanding the Power of Vision

Many talk about the power of vision without truly understanding how real it is, and how much of a difference it can make in personal or professional achievement. It isn’t about “seeing is believing”. It’s about believing you have the power to make your vision come true.

Vision + Emotion = Drive

Drive Vision
As a salesman for my previous company, I attended a five-day training program in Seattle. At the end of the course, our trainer David Green asked each person to come to the front of the room and articulate his or her sales goals.

When my turn came, I walked confidently to the front of the room and described the following picture: “In December, I attend the international company convention in Seattle, where I receive an award for being the top sales producer. I am asked to step on stage, and in front of 1000 people, the company president hands me a plaque with my name on it. I step forward, my picture is taken, and I feel incredibly proud as I step off the stage.”

I was visualizing success.

Even as I said this, I knew it was a long shot. In order to qualify for this award, I would need to produce over $200,000 in revenue by the end of August. As a second-year salesman, it was a daunting goal.

Regardless of the odds, winning this award and getting the recognition was very important to me. I wanted it so bad that I devoted my full attention to this goal, thinking long and hard about how I could accomplish it. Then I set to work.

By the end of May, I had collected $110,000 in revenue over the previous nine months. I had three more months to make $90,000 for the company.
Working diligently, I scheduled meetings with potential clients, attended networking events, got contracts signed and collected as many payments as I could. In the month of June, I collected $20,000. In July, I set a personal record of $25,000. My focus grew stronger with every sale. In August, I had my best month ever – $50,000! My year end total came to $205,000. I was elated.

Come December, I flew to the corporate convention in Seattle. During the award presentations, I was asked to step behind a curtain on stage. I heard music, then my name was called over the loudspeaker. Stepping to the front of the stage, I shook the hand of the president and accepted my award. David Green took a picture of me with a big smile and bright face, and 1000 people clapped for me.
As my emotions soared, I recognized something very important: setting the goal is only the first step. By connecting the goal with a strong desire for recognition, I became deeply committed to achieving it. The raw power of emotion made the vision became incredibly motivating.

Unleashing the Power of Vision

Visioning is a skill that anyone can develop. Here are two different approaches.

1- Close your eyes and roll a movie in your mind. See yourself in the moment of success, reaching the goal, delivering the speech, landing the job… whatever you want to achieve. Mentally rehearse what’s coming. You are literally writing the script for yourself, so make it great.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” George Bernard Shaw

2- If you want to develop a vision of your ideal situation (company, job, partner, whatever it may be), start by building a list of questions first.

  • What kind of environment?
  • What kind of people?
  • What are the key numbers?
  • What actions?
  • What experiences?
  • What feelings?
  • What role(s)?
  • What structure(s)?
  • What mindset?
  • What results?

The list of questions is up to you, but the more specific details you can identify, the more exciting the vision becomes.

With either approach, be sure to use the 3 P’s: see it in present tense, use positive language, and build vivid pictures. These will help you supercharge the vision with emotion, generating energy to carry you across the finish line.

The more specific and compelling you make your vision, the more interested in it you become. When it gets really interesting, it becomes utterly compelling. It begins to generate its own energy, and anyone who reads it feels pulled in, and focused on the desired result.

The power of vision is incredibly strong.

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3 Signs of a Good Business Strategy

Business and technology keep moving faster and faster. Strategy doesn’t.

Change brings opportunities. Change can also be confusing. The mistake that managers make is that they see all the changes, exciting opportunities, and new technologies and say, “gosh, we have to get out there, take advantage and implement a sound business strategy”. They forget that if they don’t have a clear direction, a distinctive competitive advantage, it’s going to be very hard to win.

Many of my executive clients are very busy, fly around the world, jump from meeting to meeting, and say: “I don’t have time for strategy, the world is changing so fast, we have to move faster. Making time for strategy is a waste of time.” I argue, “It’s the opposite. You got to slow down, clear your head, reflect, think, then set the right strategic direction for the organization and decide what you are trying to accomplish in the future. Having a strategy actually speeds things up.”

Three Key Principles of Business Strategy

1. Goals and priorities

Business strategy starts with having the right goal, setting the right priorities, and having the appropriate mission. The essence of strategy is to set boundaries on what we are going to accomplish as an organization. It is about making choices, trade-offs. Rather than asking “How can we find more opportunities?” try to answer “How can we narrow down the opportunities that will help our company excel and give us the best return?”
Making a list of 15 “top priorities” is easier than saying “let’s focus on those 3 opportunities and let’s do it right.” Deciding what not to do is hard.

2. Deliberate choices

Good strategy is about making deliberate choices to be different, to be unique. How are we going to deliver superior value to our client that is different from how our rivals do it? We cannot be all things to all people. Companies without a strategy are willing to try anything. This is dangerous and not a promising recipe for success. If a company is trying to do essentially the same things as their competitors, they will end up in a price war. Gone are the price premiums.

3. Continuity

Finally, a good business strategy must have continuity. Too many organizations fall into that trap of constantly reinventing their strategy. Continuity comes into place when we clearly determine the big-picture questions around defining the target market, articulating our value proposition, and identify our competitive advantage.

There is a fundamental distinction between strategy and operational effectiveness. The latter is about delivery and implementing a service and product offerings. Once we set the right goal and direction (doing the right things), it’s about executing and making things better (doing things right). Operational excellence is about continuous improvement.
On the other hand, strategy is about making the (trade-off) choices.

Start by Answering 3 Fundamental Questions

1. Which clients you are trying to serve?
2. How do you add value to your clients?
3. How are you different and better compared to your competitors?

Setting and communicating a business strategy is one of the most important topics on the manager’s agenda. When people in the organization understand and define it, they can go out and execute with passion, creativity and focus. Strategy becomes a cause.

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