In the personal and professional sense, a vision is a view for the future. Of course, that is what the prophets provided us in the bible- but, in today’s day and age, none of us are prophets, and no one (who does not want to be committed) will certify that Hashem/The Lord/G-d/Allah has provided them such information. Preparing a vision is not something done overnight- nor will it always be static. But, it must be a clear picture of where one wants to be (personally, professionally, in business) in the medium term future (three to seven years hence). If it is your personal vision, then it is easy to follow through. If your vision involves others, then you must be able to communicate this vision to insure others buying into and adopting this vision, as well.
Your vision should inspire- yourself and/or others to provide the absolute best. Visions are never quantitative, but qualitative, in nature, and are expressed in terms of values and mission [as opposed to dollars and numbers].
So, that now begs the next question- values and mission. Your mission statement is basically a constitution- a document by which you evaluate decisions and behaviors. It not only describes what you (or your company) want to be and what you want to do, but must focus on the principles upon which you base your actions to achieve your “ to do’s” or “to be’s” (see vision above). Some people call this a credo- but whatever you call it- you should have one- in writing- to examine at least weekly or daily- and share with your staff.
If we are talking about your personal mission statement, then you need to answer some questions…
1. What provides me the most happiness in my life?
2. What are my natural gifts, strengths, and abilities?
3. What do I do to contribute to my community, my family, my position?
4. What activities provide me the best return on my time?
Once you have answered these questions, you can develop your mission statement.
If this is for your company, then the questions are similar.
1. What are the assets and strengths of my company?
2. What does my company have to provide to its employees, its customers, and its
3. Which activities provide the best return on investment in light of these?
The values are the guiding principles that govern your life or your company. These are subjective in nature; they can be classified as moral, ideological, social, or aesthetic in nature. One is considered to have integrity if one is true to ones values; notice that an amoral person can indeed have integrity –which may be why we sometimes idolize criminals in our society, because their actions are integral with their values- even if we detest their values (or are expected to do so). Values are also related to the
norms or standards of one’s community.
Once these have been determined and codified, then it is easy to set goals, because goal setting is clearly related to achieving your mission, based upon the values you stipulate, and afford you to reach your vision.
All of our companies and most of our client’s companies have mission statements. To be honest, I can’t share theirs with you. But to demonstrate the above process, you are welcome to request my personal mission statement (just eMail me)…It is long, but it covers my mission and my values. Good luck on yours.
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