“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.“ John F Kennedy, Former American President.
President Kennedy’s landmark vision “Landing on the Moon” When President, Kennedy quoted the above in the year 1961, he surely believed that his nation should commit itself to achieve the goal, by the end of the decade; America would be able to land a man on the Moon and return him safely to the Earth. That statement and plan would only come from a visionary and great leader. And it exemplifies the type of leadership we expect from such great leaders. We want the leaders to motivate by setting unthinkably high aspirations; even though there may be tremendous uncertainties we should face in the future to attain the goal. Now we know that Kennedy’s visionary statement became a reality and the man landed on the moon and came back to earth unharmed, without such a vision, such a landmark goal should not have been a reality. His vision was bold that it should be done at any cost.
What is a Vision Statement? Before deciding whether we need a vision statement, we first of all to know what this vision statement is?. A vision is a statement written or unwritten statement, which is just like our ambition to become, say what we will become after 5 years. A leadership vision should stretch an individual’s capabilities and image of himself. It gives shape and direction to our future. Our personal vision statement provides the direction necessary to guide the course of our days and the choices we make about our future. Our personal vision statement is a torch shining in the darkness to illuminate our way. Now we understood about the vision statement, now write our personal vision statement as a first step in focusing our life – for our joy, our accomplishments, our contribution, our glory, and for our legacy.
One of the qualities that a person must have is the ability to envision the future. Vision might seem an exalted ambition compared with the harsh realities of the future. But without vision, growth and achieving goals becomes difficult. Vision helps simplify the decision-making process, as organizations need to make hundreds of decisions per day to simple stay afloat in this environment. Without a view of the big picture for the future, making even a small decision can appear as a mountain to be climbed.
Visions range in length from a couple of words to several pages, but normally people prefer shorter vision statements because they can remember their shorter visions. Our unit has a vision too; To be the most preferred supplier of quality product in category to result in sales revenue of more than Rs.1000 crore by FY 2010 .
Here there are two examples of vision statements, one is for an individual and another is for the purposes of organizational leadership;
•“In 2010, I will be a head of a profit center in an organization of good repute in India” (Individual) •”We will become a recognized and respected hotel chain in Asia in 3 years.” (Organization)
How we can prepare vision statement:
1. First identify the goals.
2. Uncover the real, human value in those goals.
3. Identify what you value most about you, your goals how and how you will achieve your goals.
4. Combine your values & goals and polish the words until you have a vision statement inspiring yourselves enough to energize and motivate you.
To build a vision of the future requires a lot of time and effort and successful people are those who can strike a balance between both, combining vision and execution. Vision is painting a picture of tomorrow’s world before you. It is about imagining a future day in your life? With the values and goals, which you are making and keeping in mind for the changing competitive environment of future. It is about thinking through painstaking and crafting come out with productive solutions. To build a vision of the future, one needs to come at it from various angles, because technology and competition do not stand still.
Why is vision so important? If an individual is in the initial stages of his career, it cannot compete and win over others; however it can think of it in long term, as at present the others have a far better edge over you. The individual needs to envision the future advantages and disadvantages that will come and build a leadership vision based on that situation. It may take time for these opportunities to manifest. The person needs enough resources and patience for the coming years to face the uncertainties. It is not easy because today’s pressures and deadlines will tend to take precedence. Organizations have to make sure vision is not sacrificed considering the present circumstances.
To be effective, a vision must motivate people. President Kennedy’s vision to let land the first man on the moon by the end of the 1960′s and it is one of the most famous examples of effective leadership vision. To motivate people, a vision might be expressed in arousing tones. The leadership vision to first land the first human on the moon would have been motivational to the engineers and scientists who made it happen no matter how the vision was expressed. It was motivational for two reasons: it gave them a very concrete, time-bounded target and it was an exciting challenge for the people associated with the project, that is too with the support of the most powerful man on the land.
If you own a car rental company, creating a motivational vision would be harder. It is very difficult to know how much you have to do to improve the customer service at lower costs. You have no idea what the customers expect from you, meaning you have to put in lots of effort such as conducting a surveys and evaluations, what the competitors are doing for their customers. If you are already in the top 3 in this industry, you have also to know how much higher can you go? In that case, the most motivational vision for such a business might be to make it to number one over the next 3 years. If your vision is not time-related, it is very difficult to get excited about it, mainly because there is no sense of urgency to do anything new, but your vision must be having the mettle that your company will be No.1 in 5 years, but this needs a lot of bravery, since just preparing a vision statement is not enough, you have to the daringness to go ahead with your vision statement and to achieve your goals within the time period, you decided for yourself.
It is said that visionary leadership motivates staff to overcome tough challenges and to achieve goals, however for this we need to decide whether we really need a vision. We are often told that vision is an essential feature of great leader, then in that context, we also need a vision to execute our plans well for achieving our personal goals and to become successful.
Our personal success depends on how well we define and live by the vision we prepared for ourselves.