[and 3 reasons why it’s worth the effort to write the vision out]
In its power to change lives, a strong vision statement does three things: It attracts a team, unites a community, and fulfills the mission. Hope for a different future is an important core value of entrepreneurs and ministry leaders; it’s one that wakes leaders and teams early in the morning, plants their feet firmly on the ground and sends them running in the direction of team goals﹣keeps them persevering through whatever trials that come along.
A vision statement attracts (AND repels!)
Vision drives leaders who know their actions will bring people with them, as well as inspires those who join to make a difference in the world. While vision attracts and inspires those who share a hope for the future, it will equally shock and repel the people who do not emotionally connect with the vision. If the vision makes even the team’s optimist feel a bit uncomfortable, the team will be on the right track.
Stating a hope of something better also brings a tacit admission that a current state is less than ideal, or may even be quite tragic. An inadequate or harsh reality can be painful to admit, especially in the context of team discussion in preparation for a day’s work. A statement of strong vision positions the listener at a crossroads. It compels a team to ask whether the vision is a plan worth standing for. A strong vision invokes the question, “Am I in or am I out?” Vision attracts a team.
A vision statement unites a community
Vision defines a team as a community to realize its shared dreams. With a team committed to the vision, ideas are refined and the vision becomes a reality in the hands of this community as it grows together. Vulnerabilities will surface; fear of failure will arise. Teams led by strong vision learn to support each other when insecurities arise, and when more skills or resources are required to bring the vision to fruition.
Make no mistake, a great vision comprises more than words. It’s realized with great effort, of the blood and sweat and tears variety. It’s made of individuals, who when part of a team, commit to sacrificing their own comfort and dedicating their lives to growth: personal, professional and spiritual. As each member grows, the team grows. As the team grows, the vision’s roots go deep.
And just like a well planted seed, the vision will grow, though the rain and wind and storms attempt to uproot it. In times of tumult, the team must band together, stand firm and remember the vision that drives them. Believing in the midst of adversity requires unwavering faith. It requires a faith that says “we are not gonna stop until the vision we have comes to be.” Vision unites a community.
A vision statement fulfills your mission
Writing a vision statement can feel like a big undertaking. Leaders may even wonder whether it’s worth all the effort to inscribe the vision. Writing is time away from all the REAL work that needs to be done in an organization, right? Putting the vision in words is also an opportunity for team members to point out any inadequacies they have stumbled upon over the years. But here’s the truth. A vision statement drives any mission. Stating the vision underpins an outcome of teams remaining faithful to the mission. And on days when the mission feels too hard, the written vision will inspire others to see the future in a new way, making it possible to carry out the steps set before them. A vision statement supports, communicates, and fulfills the mission.