What’s Your Vision Statement? A Hard Question for Leaders

vision statement, leading with vision

The ability to remain competitive and relevant in the financial services industry or any other industry lies heavily in crafting a strategic direction for the future of the company that represents the company’s values and goals, which should be encompassed in a company’s vision statement.

When you ask most company leaders what the vision for their organization is, they often defer to the company’s current goals and plans rather than offer a forward-looking perspective of where they intend to be in the future.

Based on the 2016 Trends in Executive Development Benchmark Report, “the ability to create a vision, convey it to others, and inspire and engage people” is considered “the single most important capability needed for the emerging generation of leaders“; Yet, it is still the one of the most under-developed capabilities when it comes to organizational leadership.

Let’s take a look at how leaders can be coached to approach each of the steps in developing an effective vision statement.

1) Creating a Powerful Vision Statement

A vision statement should clearly reflect an organization’s core values and how the company’s future goals will align with those values. It is most important to develop a leader’s critical thinking skills in order to be capable of examining the implications of the organization and and anticipating future opportunities.  Strategic thinking must also be developed so that leaders can strategize on how to position the company to capitalize on those opportunities.

2) Convey the Vision Statement

“According to the Human Capital League, only 42% of employees know their organization’s vision, mission and values.”

A leader’s communications skills must be developed and strengthened to give them the ability to not only clearly explain the company vision to employees, but to connect them to how each of their roles in the organization contributes to and is incorporated into the company vision.

3) Engage People to Follow the Company Vision

A company’s vision that nobody stands behind has no chance of coming to fruition. In a recent study, “employees who don’t find their company’s vision meaningful at all have average engagement scores of only 16 percent.” These are employees who do not feel invested in the company’s success and will therefore not contribute wholly to it.
Company leaders must be developed in offering inspiring motivation to employees that will get and keep them engaged in working toward the success of the company vision.

Once an organization’s leaders are coached through mentorship and developmental job assignments to strengthen their critical thinking, communication and motivational skills, they will be much better prepared to answer the challenging question of a company’s vision. It is a question that must be answered if a company is going to position itself for future growth and success.

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