Your vision statement is an explanation of why the company exists and what its purpose is. It states the company’s long-term objectives and the overall governance and tone of the company. Think of it as a combination of a “Who we are,” “Why we’re here” and a “Where we’re going” statement. A vision statement is “future oriented.” It is your company’s “Declaration.”
Your vision statement is then followed by your mission statement and the statement of your company’s values. The mission statement is a detailed account of the overall strategy and the specific tactics the company will employ in pursuit of the vision. Think of this as the “How we do it” statement. A mission statement is “now” oriented. Stating your company’s values is next – it is a detailed listing of all the behavioral rules that will be followed by all individual team members, all of the time. These are the “self-imposed” laws that are not illegal in the outside world per se, but rules that your team agrees to abide by. It is your company’s agreed upon “Laws.” It clearly defines what behavior is acceptable and what is not. These three areas provide your company with long term direction, how you will accomplish that vision and the areas of behavior that you and your team hold in the highest regard while you are working to meet your vision.
You started the company, you bought it or inherited it. As the chief leader in your company it is your responsibility to define the outside parameters of who you are, why you exist, what you’re going to do, how you’ll do it, and your rules. There are a series of questions you have to ask yourself, and then candidly answer, to determine what the outside boundaries are for your company. Ultimately, in order for your vision, mission, and values statements to become real, everyone on your team needs to agree to and buy in to the content of the statements. Ideally, you include your team in the development of the statements. But before you do that, you – the business owner – have to write the first draft.
A vacation without a plan or an ocean-bound boat without a compass are both trips that are doomed to failure before they begin. If you haven’t created a strategic vision or have lost sight of it, now is the perfect time to create one or to re-evaluate the statements you have.
If you are looking for assistance on assembling your vision, mission and values statements and putting them into action in your organization, contact us at The Executive Influence. Expect results.