There is an ancient Hebrew Proverb that states "Where there is no vision, the people will perish". The more I talk to people in this economic season the more I am convinced this proverb is true. This week my team and I will be focusing on the story of our business - our vision. Some will be developing a vision for the first time and some will be reconnecting with the vision they created in the past. All of us will be thinking about the story we want to tell our clients, coworkers, community and loved ones in the years ahead. My friends at Building Champions have helped me layout five key components of a meaningful and effective business vision.
1. Convictions: Vision begins with identifying the values and guiding principles that you are willing to hold true to no matter the consequences. They should represent the core of who you are as a person. People often use words like honesty, integrity, and great customer service. This part of your vision statement must go deeper though by identifying not just the conviction but the behaviors associated with living out that conviction. For example:
Life-long Learning: Passionately pursue lifelong learning and personal development through reading, attending conferences, and networking with other professionals.
2. Purpose: Your vision statement must answer the question, why does your business exist? We all have to know the deeper reason behind why we do what we do each day. Is it all just for money? Is it just about making widgets or providing some service? I believe your purpose is what gets us through challenging times and reminds you to keep fighting the good fight even when nothing seems to be going right. For example my personal business purpose statement is:
To coach and train professionals to be purposeful in their business and life.
That statement motivates me and reminds me that what I do each day is more than just the supervision and oversight of real estate transactions, more than just training classes, and more than just answering the "got a minute" questions. It's about helping people conduct their business with purpose and intentionality each day so they can reach new levels of success both personally and professionally.
3. Envisioned Future (Story): Your envisioned future is your description of who you want to be and what you want to achieve over the next 5-10-20 years. Remember you must be able to see your vision if you are going to achieve it. This part of your vision statement takes the emotions, dreams, and motivation you have for your business and puts it into words. The following is an excerpt from my team's vision statement and talks about the culture of our office:
When you walk into our office you will find a warm and engaging environment that will be the beginning of a real estate experience. Our administrative staff will understand they are on the front lines as directors of first impressions. We will create a culture that invites our team members to be the best they can be in all areas of their lives. Our team will consist of highly trained and passionate real estate agents that are driven by purpose in their life and business. We will be a diverse group of sales leaders unified by our convictions and purpose. We will be purpose driven brokers.
4. Key Areas of Development: The key areas of development flow from your envisioned future and become the areas of your vision for you to start developing over time. As I wrote the vision for the Sherwood and Newberg teams at Prudential Northwest Properties I identified common themes in the areas I was writing about and soon had my list of key areas of development: Customer Service, Training, Coaching, Culture, Marketing, Recruiting, etc. I spent time writing about what each of these areas would look like, how we would be perceived by our clients, what it would feel like when we were fully developed in this area. For example:
Our Community: We will actively participate in our community through service to our clients and through charitable donations and event sponsorships. We will engage our communities by offering relevant and real time information on their real estate investments. We will utilize the latest technology and best practices to serve our clients and community. We will be known for our convictions and purpose.
Training: Recognizing that people grow from interacting and learning from each other, our team members will regularly participate in various training experiences. These training experiences will be relevant, market sensitive, and provide an opportunity for team members to learn from their peers, develop new skills, and perfect their natural talents.
Coaching: Our culture will be one that is fueled by our convictions and accountability. 100% of the team will be involved in a coaching experience on a bi-weekly basis. We will model service and balance. We will hold each other accountable to living our Life Plans and will not allow our careers to take us off track. Coaching will be the cornerstone experience for a team member’s individual development.
5. Compelling Ambitions: Your compelling ambitions must be clear and motivating. They will become the unifying focal point of your efforts and the catalyst for team spirit and motivation. They must also be measurable and have a clear finish line so you know when you have reached them. These goals should be big enough that people doubt whether they can be achieved but attainable with you and your team giving your entire heart to the cause. For example:
Achieve the #1 position in overall market share for both active listings and closed units in Yamhill County, the city of Newberg, and the city of Sherwood by 2013.
Be patient as you go through this process. It can be challenging and even awkward. However, I'm convinced the reward is worth the hard work. If you would like a copy of the tool that I use for creating and revising my business vision please contact me.
Question: Do you have a business vision for your career, the people you lead, or the company you own?
Make it a great day!