We are all heading somewhere, whether we know it or not. The chance that we end up where we intend to increases if we clearly specify where we are going; in terms of our personal selves and lives, or our career and business. If you are in charge of a business of some sort, then you are most likely familiar with formulating a long-term vision stating where you want to go and what you wish to achieve for the next few years.
One step at a time
When the vision is in place, the work of step by step attaining and realizing it begins. Everything that needs to be done throughout the years to come are formulated gradually, bit by bit, day by day, as to-do-tasks on our to-do-list. Structure is the tool we use to get the work done as easily and smoothly as possible, but there are shortcuts we can take. We do not need to do everything ourselves. We could receive some help, and even without expressly asking for it.
Spread your vision
Surely you ave noticed how people around you are eager to help, give you good advice (sometimes without being asked to do so) and provide you with tips and pointers on products or services which have made their lives easier. Most of us like the feeling of helping another. It feels good and meaningful to do something good for someone else.
This is exactly why you should tell outsiders (people outside of your business, that is) about your vision. It isn’t sufficient to write about it on the ”About Us”-page on your website, but you need to tell people yourself when you meet them. The vision therefore needs to be phrased in a brief, specific and catchy way. In the March/April 1995 edition of the Harvard Business Review, John P Kotter writes:
”… if you can’t communicate the vision to someone in five minutes or less and get a reaction that signifies both understanding and interest, you are not yet done …”.
The world is smaller than you think
Soon you will see how you are receiving help and assistance you could only dream of and from the most unexpected people. Someone connects you with a person who could potentially be very valuable to your business. Someone else gives you a personal introduction to a company you have wanted to have as a client for a long time. As it so happens, your lunch date from a ”former life” worked in a line of business which you know very little about and she is more than happy to tell you all about it so, hence helping you on your way to success in the field. Another acquaintance knows someone on the other side of the world, who in turn has a whole network of people who have done similar journeys as the one you are currently making in terms of your career, and who love helping newcomers progress.
- Take out your vision and summarize it in a few sentences which would be your reply if someone asked you a question such as ”where do you see yourself in ten years?”. It does not matter if these sentences do not comprise everything the vision consist of, you can save the rest of it for the conversation that most likely follow your initial statement. When I receive this type of question, I answer along the lines of ”On the 29th of March 2016 I will have at least one client on every continent.” I have many other things to say as well about the book I have written, lectures I give and other strategies I have to reach this vision, but this sentence sums it all up.
- Now think about in what contexts you could tell people about your vision. Is it:
- during lunches with people
- during cocktail parties
- during meetings with clients or suppliers
- when giving presentations
- If you want to, decide when the next time you will talk about your vision will be. If it is during an occasion which you have booked in your calendar already, create a reminder that will remind you to mention or discuss your vision a few minutes before the event starts.
All roads lead to Rome, but some take you there faster than others
If you tell others about your vision, either your personal vision or that of your company or business, you will be presented with shortcuts to realizing it. You will need to do less work and since other people enjoy helping, it is a win-win. Progress with greater ease and enjoyment.
Where are you striving?
What is your or your business’ vision? Tell me!