How is Your Vision? …and I’m not talking about your eyes!
By Larry Galler
Reprinted with permission from the Greater Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce magazine, “Valparaiso” (Summer 2007 Issue)
When I work with business owners, coaching them to improve their businesses, I want to get a sense of their vision for their company. It’s rare, at the beginning of our relationship, that they actually have gone through the thought process to the point where they can articulate their vision for their company. Most business owners have a vision… sort of, but it is kind of like the vision of a person who has cataracts and their vision is foggy, indistinct, and cloudy. Usually the response I get is a mumbled phrase, something about increasing sales or making more money, but I rarely get a well-thought-out, concise, understandable, articulate picture of what they want their business to become in the future. I’m positive the reason for that mumbled statement is that they have not really conceptualized that important part of their future, or if they have, they have not been able to clarify their vision. So they just give me a quick answer designed to sort of satisfy me and shut me up. But I’m not so easily satisfied and I’m certainly not easy to shut up!
The situation becomes even worse (or less clear) when I talk to the executives, managers, supervisors, and staff of those companies and ask them where they think the company is headed. The answers I receive are usually clear as fog because very few have ever received the vision from the owner or have ever discussed it. They are in the dark about the company’s future and their personal future. Most people assume that the future will look pretty much the same as it looks today, yet we all know that in our hyper-competitive business climate, that thought is just not realistic.
I encourage my clients and every businessperson to have cataract surgery for their business by spending some time and asking themselves to create a vivid description of the future for their company – what they intend for it to become in five, ten, or twenty years. The businesses I see and work with that well understand their vision are businesses that show better growth, are more profitable and more likely to reach their goals because they know where they are going or at least, know where they intend to go.
The benefits of the visionary process are huge:
- A company with a clear vision of the future can demonstrate their intentions to their lenders, investors, and other stakeholders. It is much easier to attract capital and loans when needed.
- Having a clear vision of the future makes it easier to attract the best new employees because high-achieving people want to work for companies with an expansive future.
- Those with a clear vision of the future use it as a basis for every planning session because the “vision” is the guide for so many decisions, everything from developing next year’s marketing plan to the purchase of a piece of office equipment or software.
- Decisions, especially difficult decisions, are made based on the foundation of the long-term “vision” of the company rather than expediency.
- The “vision” can become an integral part of the branding of the company, its products and services.
If you have created your “vision” for your company and it is a living document, used often as a roadmap to the future, I congratulate you. But if you don’t yet have that clear “vision,” I truly encourage you to craft it by asking yourself questions about your ambition, your goals, and the possibilities that
stretch out in front of you and lead to the future. Once you have written out your “vision,” use it as a guide to inspire your team to greater achievement and success. The fog and clouds will disappear. Everyone in the company will be able to envision the future clearly and work together towards it with the clarity of 20/20 eyesight.
Is Being Warm a Cooling Trend?
By Krish Dhanam
The basics of decency and civility seem to have left mainstream vernacular, as conversational ability is becoming a long-lost art. The advent of texting and instant messaging, coupled with a society that is always on the move, has caused a chasm that seems to be widening. Falling into this chasm of political correctness are the long-proven traits of warmth and cordiality. No longer is a smile reciprocated with a head nod that indicates acknowledgment of your own gesture with one that says I see your niceness and I raise you my own niceness. It seems that in the high-stakes game of poker we call our lives, the ante has all but been changed and the only ones who want to play are those that know there are no rules and anything goes.
Dr. Adrian Rogers, a noted and highly-respected preacher, once said that for man to fully understand the ability of decency he should move from frivolous and factual narratives to ones that evoke feeling and fellowship. The frivolous and factual commentaries he was talking about are the often selfish monologues that are one-sided and almost always posited just to get to the next act.
Communication with a teenager who answers with grunts and monosyllabic responses is a classic example of the frivolous. Sometimes the factual exchanges go beyond the basics, while seeming to be happy and logical but never emotional. We have been sold the wrong bill of goods in a world with so much pain.
Emotional investment in your communication with others is where relationships blossom and true feelings are experienced. Sometimes having an opinion and feeling strongly enough about it to share it and defend it is called activism. Far from this myth is the reality that people who are passionate about their motives are actually more secure in all they do. As a public speaker, I have been advised many times to keep the matters pertaining to my feelings, faith and fellowship on ice so that I don’t rock the boat. I bet enough others have already sold out to that notion, because as we look at where we are as a free people, most of what we believe to be wrong is actually explained as progress. You cannot expect to melt the confused opinions of mediocrity and dependence if you don’t do so with feelings of warmth that say you care about what happens on your watch.
As a professional, a parent, a partner or a proprietor, make a decision this week to have faith in your feelings and seek to grow in fellowship with the ones with whom you communicate. Let it be said of you as it was of Noah Webster, “He taught many to read but not one to sin.” That is a fitting statement of warmth that will change everything.
I will not lead but INSPIRE YOU!
I will not give you what you want since that is for you to earn!
Change your life TODAY!
Visit my Lightyear Wireless website: http://bc.deck.mylightyear.com!