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7 Core Elements of Your Vivid Vision!
by Bill Thomas

What you are about to read may be found in the Bible but it also applies to your professional life.

Most leaders neglect to provide a statement of vision to the people they lead and when a vision is presented it usually lacks any vitality or inspirational value.

"Where there is no vision, the people perish" - that's the warning given to the King Solomon [in Proverbs 29:18].

And the prophet Habakkuk is commanded to, "Write the vision, and make [it] plain upon tables, that he may run that reads it, for the vision [is] yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry [Hab 2:2-3]."

So your vision statements must serve three important functions:

1) Those who you lead need that vision or their efforts will fail to achieve anything of long-lasting value;

2) Your vision must be written in clear, plain language so that your people will be able to run with its meaning;

3) A vision refers to some appointed time in the future and though it appears to be delayed in coming, it will eventually become your reality.

An Element of Purposeful Action!

You need verbs. Use your statements to convey action. Your actions must be focused on producing some effect, result or outcome.

You could discuss it - but that will not satisfy the desires of our human hearts. Your vision must fulfill others and not leave them with a sense of emptiness.

You should say something that matters to others, something that will impact their lives, something that gives them a purpose.

Give their efforts, activities or striving a worthy reward.

An Element of Compelling Reasons!

Your leadership is the reason. Why do they want to follow you? What "because" will your vision provide them with? How come we need to do this thing, this project, this venture?

Your statement must give a set of compelling reasons for taking action. These reasons must be compelling, inspiring, critical, exciting, essential to your group.

I love those CEOs who slither up to the microphone and tell their fellow employees that they should be motivated to slave away so that the company can 'increase shareholder value'! After the speech, ask those employees about the percentage of their ownership in that company and you find out that the employees only own about 0.1% - not even enough power to vote in a single director.

Increasing shareholder value is not very exciting to anyone, including shareholders - they are motivated by the amounts of money they actually earn - cash-in-hand, not promises of paper profits.

An Element of Trustworthy Purposes!

Psychologists say unemployed people are usually depressed, sullen and lethargic. It's a scientific fact that people living with little or no purpose are unhappy and are more likely to think about ending their lives.

You and I are at our most effective when we are fulfilling our purpose. Job titles are important because those designations tell people that there is a purpose for their work, their organization and profession.

Your title is not the only indicator of your purpose but it does give you a sense of purpose, doesn't it? We find it easier to trust in and rely on the promises of a worthwhile, noble purpose.

Your vision statements should give the group a purpose that is worthy of their trust, loyalty and commitment.

An Element of Valuable Identity!

Do your statements portray pictures of hope, future realities or laudable objectives? What will your group identify themselves with after they achieve your vision?

Vivid visions educate, develop and encourage people. Visions hold up the mirror of future possibilities and enable people to see their potential clearly defined.

You can use your visionary projections to transform the group into a newer, better, more confident team of leaders, innovators and mentors. Thus, visions can help you add value to and boost the resourcefulness of your people's best efforts.

An Element of Principled Activities!

Without principles, your vision will fade away into nothingness - is it possible that the Bible's Author means the same thing?

Your vision must have a strong foundation to have any chance at a future of success. Integrating the personal, cultural and corporate values of your people into your vision provides a bedrock for buy-in from all the actors.

Principles, shared beliefs, morals or ethics can also form the underpinnings of a worthy vision. When you involve any positive findings from our studies of philosophy, psychology or theology you probably have the makings of a nurturing vision.

An Element of Eternal Hope!

The time is now but eternity is forever. Eternity is one big eternal present - within it, there is no past, no future and no in-between, there is only a now.

Your vision needs to be present at all times - to be sure the vision may not yet be attained, but it when its goals are achieved that visionary image will be present.

If the vision contains a crystallized hope, it will appear to mirror the best parts of eternity - your vision will be without any past regrets, without the fear of future doom and it will contain one ever-present hope for better things.

An Element of Unlimited Dimensionality!

Does your vision statement inspire our bodies, minds, spirits and potentials? Have you spoken to and connected with our physical, intellectual, spiritual or developmental beings?

The vision that finds its way into a group's innermost core has the best chance of realization. Your statement must help your audience to see their opportunities to: - Add tangible value to their world - Pursue newer, more challenging ideas - Be empowered to accomplish greater things - Grow beyond the limitations of their current state

Use the power of dimension to lengthen, deepen, heighten and broaden the character, capability, competence and potential of your team - they'll be the better for it.

Your vivid vision statement should contain the promise of a greater, more desirable world - if you include these 7 elements, you will see your envisioned ideas become a glorious version of a new reality.

Thomas Jefferson included the line, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" to describe his vision of an United States of America in the Declaration of Independence.

Jefferson's ideas certainly sparked the imaginations of many people and his statements were eventually transformed into a tangible reality. The best vision statements embody ideals that are usually shared by all participants.

If you can find those ideals, if you use the 7 elements and if you share your heart with your followers, you too will be able to craft an enduring, yet inspirational vision.

Start writing a vision for your own personal growth and future - then take action and put your ideals into practice and help others to realize their dreams.

Don't let the people perish, give them a vivid vision to run with and prosper by and the world will beat a path to your door!

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