Trust Your Vision!


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People love to tell me their ideas. Attracting that kind of energy is a blessing. The blessing comes from the excitement that people have about the things they want to do. They tell me their ideas because they think I might offer helpful advice. So here it is.

Every organization begins with at least one thing: a vision. One person usually has an idea that is timely and worthwhile. The person has a choice, either they will move forward or they won’t. All of us have seen and heard both types of visions: the ones that are now the foundations of organizations and the ones that are still floating around until someone makes a move.

The visions that are the foundation of every organization contain some very essential elements. They include what the company produces, whom they are producing it for, and why they think it is important. Most organizations have a vision statement that is available to the general public. You will also see that advertisements and public images are consistent with the vision statement – or at least they should be.

The important thing is that the ideas that people have for what they want to do are called “visions. ” The entities that are formed as a result of someone’s vision will find a way to share it with others in their “Vision Statement. ”

I always ask people to write down their visions. Habakkuk was instructed to make his vision plain. I find that scripture to be especially powerful. Writing the idea down forces you to put it into a perspective that other people can understand. It also lets you know if your idea has potential.

There are few enterprises that do not require the commitment of other people as customers, congregations, suppliers, employees, etc. If other people do not understand what you are doing, your idea will not work. Bringing your dream to life depends heavily on other people, so find a way to explain it so they can understand.

The most important “other people” that you will have to convince are your advisors. Finding others to stand in agreement with your idea is crucial for a number of reasons. Ideally, you know people from a variety of backgrounds who think your idea is worth pursuing. Those people can share information and resources that fall under their own area of expertise.

Then, when your idea begins to take the form of an organization, you need checks and balances to make sure that all of the things that you have in your vision statement are honored. At that point you will have to decide how you want your advisors to work. Should they be a Board of Directors? Trustees? Advisory Council?

In any case, you have taken your vision and made it plain. You have found others to stand in agreement and who serve your vision in some kind of official capacity. But, remember, nothing has actually happened yet! Here is where a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order will come in handy.

Every vision statement that motivates people is followed by a mission statement that lets people know exactly what it is they should do. Keep in mind that the mission statement is a touchstone for the people who are involved in your vision. The information in the mission statement should include all of the things that must be done to fulfill your vision. First the vision, then the mission.

The mission statement should also have measurable goals that each person can look at to make sure that they are in alignment with the vision. In fact, part of everybody’s entry into your organization should be familiarity and agreement with the mission statement.

Plenty of people get the vision and mission statements confused. No big deal, unless its your organization. In that case here are some important differences:

  • The vision statement is usually the result of one person’s “vision. ”
  • The mission statement is the result of a group’s agreement about the best ways to deliver the “vision. ”
  • The vision statement is often vague and general.
  • The mission statement is specific and measurable.
  • People in an organization can understand the vision.
  • People in an organization must understand the mission.
  • The vision statement guides the organization.
  • The mission statement structures the organization.

    Making it all official usually involves incorporating or having a legal document that says that you are going to make business transactions. Your Board of Directors will have to draft and agree on those documents. In fact, the documents will establish how your Board of Directors will function: their roles, how long they will serve, when they meet. Any other documents you need to fulfill your mission can be drafted as the need arises.

    The point is that many of the ideas that people share with me are worth pursuing. If you can share it with other people who understand and agree, they can join you in making your dream happen. Often, people are stopped in their tracks because what they want can be complicated. You don’t have to do it alone.

    Dr. LaMar researches, writes, and speaks about mentoring relationships among professional women. She also consults with growing businesses about how personality and processes can affect workplace dynamics. Her books “God Provides The Sacrifice: Women Discuss Making Their Hardest Decision" and “Drama Free Workplace can be purchased in e-book format from her web sites.

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