It’s nothing to repeat your vision 100 times

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…

decofindI’m sure I’ve heard these famous words from the Declaration of Independence thousands of times. Yet each time I hear them I am struck by the power of them, how important they are to the society that I live in. The impact of these words doesn’t diminish as I hear them again and again. In fact, they are amplified. Reading these words again now is a touchstone for me; it helps me to renew my commitment to those lofty ideals.

Maybe your company vision doesn’t have the eloquence or staying power of the Declaration of Independence. Maybe your enterprise isn’t intended to last 200 years or more but for the time that it does exist, and for the people who are joining you on this journey, your company vision is no less than your own Declaration of Independence.

The Founding Fathers hastily ran to a printing press and worked all night to print off 200 copies of their text, distributing them far and wide. Before long it was published in many newspapers throughout the colonies, and even in England, Poland, Switzerland and beyond. Public readings were held, and George Washington ordered that it be read to the entire colonial army. Today, we teach every American student the text of the constitution multiple times. In many states, students are required to memorize the preamble as a condition of graduation.

What if the founding fathers had written the Declaration of Independence, framed it, and put it on the wall of their conference room? I see businesses do just that (and those same businesses tell me what a waste of time the exercise was).

A clear and compelling vision is your number one leadership tool! It is the best way to engage and empower your team; unleashing their performance in all kinds of ways that you couldn’t possibly imagine. But you don’t get that kind of result unless you are serious about it, unless you show your team that you are committed to it, and that you reward behaviors that align with it and punish behaviors that don’t.

If business owners are reluctant to talk about their company’s vision and mission or reluctant to repeat it too often, it may because they have not landed upon a truly inspiring vision. After all, a truly compelling vision is a joy to share!

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many times do you think you need to describe your vision to your team before they can see it? Do you explain it to every new hire? Do your team members have it memorized? Do you repeat it at company events, quarterly update meetings, or other gatherings? How do you keep it alive?

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