By Rajiv Jayarajah, ACC
As a coach you most likely spend a lot of your time helping others to create a vision of their ideal future and how they will achieve it. However, when was the last time you took time out and develop a vision statement for your own coaching business?
Vision Statements. These things tend to get a bad rap. They’re often considered to be vague declarations by businesses with nothing substantial to back them up or hold them accountable. However, a great Vision Statement can do a lot for you and your aspirations. So, let’s establish what a good Vision Statement is, how to create one and how to use one.
A Vision Statement is as “an affirmation defining a clear and inspiring direction for your future”. The Vision Statement outlines why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Why do I need a Vision Statement?
A Vision Statement makes you declare your ambitions and what you want your future to be. You can’t work passionately towards something unless you know what it is. It’s essentially the lighthouse that guides your way the entire journey. Not having a Vision can lead to a lack of planning and forethought, being unprepared, and engaging in unnecessary activity wastes time and money. You become inefficient.
How do I create a Vision Statement?
Firstly, acknowledge that a Vision is different from a Goal.
“VISION IS THE ART OF SEEING WHAT IS INVISIBLE TO OTHERS” – Jonathan Swift
It’s the first step in goal setting. A Vision uses foresight for an eventual outcome. A Goal concentrates on a very specific result aligned to that Vision.
When it comes to establishing your Vision – don’t set any limits! Get creative! It should be future focused, specific and purpose-driven.
A Vision is generally one or two sentences long and outlines the foundation and purpose of all your future activity. It states the “big picture” scenario and works best when it’s short, clear and powerful.
Things to consider when setting your Vision
- What role do you personally play in your Vision?
- Does it incorporate an organisation or industry?
- Is it defined by clients, customers, services or product offerings?
- Who are the stakeholders – employees, service providers, peers, managers?
- What defines the realisation or achievement of your Vision, e.g. positive impact on others?
Here are some examples of both personal and company Vision Statements are:
- Harley Davidson: “To fulfil dreams through the experiences of motorcycling.”
- Disney “To make people happy.”
- Netflix “Helping content creators around the world to find a global audience.”
- Richard Branson – “To have fun in (my) journey through life and learn from (my) mistakes.”
As you can see, your Vision Statement is YOURS, and it can be as unique and serious or fun as you want and need it to be.
Now you’ve got your Vision Statement, what do you do with it? Your Vision Statement isn’t a set and forget exercise. To bring it to life you need to declare it to the world including your clients.
Always keep sight of your Vision. It’s the reason you started and why you keep going. Remember though; your Vision Statement can change if you needed. Businesses, people and markets change constantly. Your Vision should always remain relevant and align with your ultimate success.
Rajiv Jayarajah, ACC, is the member of ICF Australasia Victoria leadership team. His background in leadership roles across banking, energy and technology enables him to partner with senior leaders to develop high performing teams.