Research finds that the clearly articulated vision of a leader can inspire, motivate, build trust, stimulate commitment, empower, and guide the actions of a team into a productive and profitable future (Haque, et al., 2020). The vision of a leader is, therefore, a powerful key to a leader’s success. The vision of a leader is their version of their team’s aspirational future. It serves to guide the team’s decisions and actions so that they align with the team’s shared and declared values and goals. A vision statement provides a team with a roadmap as to where they are going and why. For a team to feel a collective sense of the future, a clear, articulated vision is necessary. Vision statements are organic and should, therefore, be reviewed and revised as necessary.
A vision statement should do one or more of the following:
- Identify a clear, concise, compelling, discrepant future.
- Provide reasons for taking actions, hiring, allocating resources, developing products.
- Reflect team’s strengths, values, beliefs, and direction.
- Challenge people to outdo themselves, to stretch.
Seven attributes can be used to assess the effectiveness of a leader’s vision. They are:
- future orientation
Consider these effective and successful vision statements:
Disney: To entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds, and innovative technologies that make ours the world’s premier entertainment company.
Southwest Airlines: To be the world’s most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline.
Nike: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world (*If you have a body, you are an athlete).
McDonald’s: To be the best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile.
Haque, M. D., Li Liu, & Titi Amayah, A. (2020). The Relationship Between Vision and Organizational Readiness for Change: The Mediating Effects of Empowerment and Trust in the Leader. Journal of Organizational Psychology, 20(2), 159–174