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Company Culture: Vision, Mission & Values – Part 2

Posted by Amy Lynch on February 20, 2023

Where are you going? What do you want to be?

Vision for your company is both personal and professional. It is made up of your primary aim and a vision statement. Primary aim is personal; the company vision is business. Vision is where you’re going. Your company vision is a picture of the desired future state of your business three years out.

It is the ability to see what could be and the conviction of what should be – this is where you want to go and what you want to be. The vision statement explains explicitly what the company is attempting to do in the near and far future, so people can understand it and rise to the occasion.

Vision is about getting your business’s ‘big rocks’ in place. 

If a company doesn’t have a vision, it will never thrive. No vision, and you’re blind. I know people working in a company certainly hope somebody has a vision and knows where they’re going. That should be the leader.

It’s the leader’s responsibility to form and articulate a vision. 

This is not negotiable; the leader must do it. The owner has to start with their specific and personal vision, what Michael E. Gerber calls the “primary aim” in his book The E Myth. This vision is ultimately something that the business owner has to want, something inspiring and meaningful; then, they’ll work hard for it. If you missed my last series, I posted one of my own primary aims and helped you write your own in Get the Hell Out of the Hourglass – Part 5. You can read that series in the archives.

You can see that a vision statement needs to be specific enough to guide your company. As soon as you write it down, it serves as the guidepost. All your decisions, communications, and projects are geared towards achieving it.

This vision should come alive in your company immediately. 

Of course, goals change, the economy changes, problems change, and people change, so I strongly advise updating your vision at least once a year. I think it is best to have a vision plan describing where you’d like to be in ten years, five years, three years, one year, and ninety days; this is what we do at Nolan Painting.

Get a vision.

Writing these takes practice, and it’s hard to predict even a year in advance. So, for example, during the last recession and the COVID fallout, it’s been tough to predict what the business might look like in a year. For the past three years, we have written a one-year vision and then had to update it after six months because so much had changed. But that’s not the way it’s supposed to go. It’s supposed to be written for an entire year and be relevant for the whole year. So, except for recessions and pandemics, that’s what we do.

Timing your vision statement

The management team meets many times in the fourth quarter and forms a solid picture of what the new year could bring. Then, in late December,  I write a one-page, one-year vision with specifics about what’s going to happen and what’s needed to make that happen. From there, I pull out action items for the year: how many customers I will need, and how much revenue I will need; how many employees I’ll need, and how many trucks – all the resources that would be necessary for us to achieve the vision. Next, I give everyone a copy. Finally, my team articulates the vision to our employees many times over.

Mission. Vision. Values. Repeat.

Use this simple guide to get started. I’m also posting my one-year vision from 2022. I hope this helps you create your own.

See you Thursday. Build muscle.


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