Having a well-defined vision and a strategy to implement it, are significant components of leadership.

Most leaders have a predefined vision for their company in their mind that motivates them to persevere through daily challenges such as sacrificing personal time, overcoming self doubt and combatting seemingly impenetrable obstacles. As you build your company, your team will be met with similar challenges.

As a leader, it’s a core part of your role to share, document, discuss and engage your people with your vision, so you can provide them with the same motivation that drives you. Leaders that accomplish this effectively, create a legion of emerging and empowered leaders that are equipped to tackle every problem with the same passion, drive and dedication that you would. When your vision is clear, your team does not have to rely on direction from you to progress forward, successfully.

A company that has done this in an exemplary manner is TOMS, a purpose-driven accessory brand that gives back to those in need which each product the sell:

“The reason we have been able to grow, and grow successfully, is we attract the most amazing employees. And, the number one reason they come is because they get to be part of something bigger than themselves.” Blake Mycoskie, Founder & Chief Shoe Giver, TOMS

Having a well-defined vision and a strategy to implement it, are significant components of leadership. They provide a clear pathway to advancing towards your goals and objectives–whether it be as a company, within a department or for a special project.

But, at some point in your journey to reach your summit–in search of purpose with your team and company–you will look up over the horizon and start to question your belief in where you are going. That’s when the importance of creating a vision that is a vivid, yet aspirational picture of the future, comes into play.

Here’s how to convey your visionary leadership and stay the course:

  1. Choose a horizon. Determine your purpose and position as a company. Describe measurable goals that are needed to reach your company’s pinnacle of success, and what that looks like in your operations.
  2. Think about the impact you want to make for your customers. Consider what you’re offering to customers, what they buy from you, and describe the problem you are solving. Also, describe the benefit they get, then validate with customer feedback. Use their words in your narrative when articulating your vision.
  3. Clarify why customers chose you. Identify what you do that makes your company unique, that can’t be replicated by competitors, and how you maintain and strengthen that competency. Differentiate your company from its competition and create a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
  4. Describe the culture and environment that you want to create. Authentically embody the values that you want emulated by your team and in your company.
  5. Set financial targets based on metrics. Have goals that drive your business forward such as identifying specific customer segments that you’ll target to grow your business..
  6. Fund social causes. Incorporate philanthropic initiatives that are natural extensions of your business and values. Offer your team an opportunity to support causes important to them as well and bring a new level of meaning to work.
  7. Identify other stakeholders. Engage stakeholders that have a touchpoint with your business, ranging from inside the organization (such as board members) to externally (such as key influencers, who have become partners). Everyone who has a potential impact on your business should be aligned with your vision.

Photo by Wu Jianxiong

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