“You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet,” said Theodore Hesburgh, president of Notre Dame University for 35 years. He was talking about the necessity of vision. In your business, your vision should be your rallying cry. Without it, you, your employees, and your company’s success will falter.

What is a Vision Statement?

Every business should have a vision statement that creates a clear picture of where the organization is heading. Vision has to do with the future. It outlines where you want your company to go, and then you can push forward to make that happen.

Your vision statement should be grounded in your values and priorities for your business. So although it is future-oriented, its roots should tie into to the reason that you started your company or the fundamental purpose of your organization. Or, as Theodore Roosevelt more eloquently put it, “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”

Why Create a Vision Statement for Your Company?

  • Right decisions become clearer: Your vision outlines your business goals. When you are clear on what you want your company to accomplish, it’s easier to focus on what needs to be done to achieve those goals. A clear vision helps bring a business plan into focus.
  • Employee engagement increases: Research shows that when employees find their company’s vision statement meaningful, they have a level of engagement at work that is 16 percentile points above most workers’.
  • Your commitment is deepened: Being an entrepreneur is tough–really, really tough. There will be times when you want to throw in the towel. A well-crafted vision statement can keep you going. To learn more, watch this video in which Steve Jobs talks about sticking it out.

How is a Vision Statement Crafted?

Crafting a quality vision statement isn’t an overnight affair. Don’t skimp on this investment of time and mental effort. As you go through the process, keep the following guidelines in mind:

1. Let yourself dream. Your vision should be big–bigger than you think might be possible.

2. Keep your values front and center. They should guide your vision.

3. Statements should be short, clearly and succinctly creating a picture for those who hear them.

A clear and powerful vision dreams what your company’s future could be and then provides the motivation to make the dream a reality.

Stay tuned for the next installment in our 10 Elements of Success series where we explore Know Yourself.