Being passionate about what a ‘vision’ is, I was using it as an example when I first started teaching. I came upon many VAs and each had its own mission statement on their websites which were focused on ‘what we do’. I liked Obama’s revamping the VA administration’s mission in one sentence by Abraham Lincoln: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan”. It’s far more eloquent and purposeful in nature.
My definition of vision includes three things: the higher purpose, it’s core values and the goal; the ‘why’, the ‘how we’re going to act on the way there’ and ‘where we’re going’. I call the higher purpose an entrepreneur or temper tantrum but it’s not the goal. It’s the reason why your employees should feel compelled and excited about a vision. The core values are codes of conduct and ‘how we do things around here’. They are behavioral in nature and descriptive. We ensure that people in the organization are following those behaviors. The third component is the ambitious ‘goal’ which is aspirational. Your purpose could be your values as the structural blocks attract and inspire the right people.
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