Vision and Values —That Ignite And Inspire
Inspiring vision and values are key ingredients of highly successful people, organizations, and teams.
A strong vision, and values embraced and alive in your life and/or your organization, creates energy and fuels positive behavior and performance.
It’s incredibly impactful—it has the power to uplift the quality of your life and your daily mindset. You can jump out of bed excited and ready for the day ahead, propelled by the vision you are working toward, and excited about living the elevated values you have set. Many people feel they are better people for working toward a vision, and living their values. They are making themselves and the world a better place—motivated by a clear, authentic, and attainable aspiration for themselves and/or their work or organization.
On a professional level, research shows that having a compelling vision attracts people to an organization and motivates them to perform and stay.
Disney’s vision of “the happiest place on earth” is clear, succinct, and captivating. Southwest’s vision “to become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline” is palpable. Google’s mission “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” is alive and true. By clearly articulating your vision, you can attract high performers—a workforce aligned with that vision—and unite your team.
Company values also aid in attracting and retaining employees.
They serve as the guiding principles for how to behave in life and on the job. They shape how we respond to others—to customers, team members, associates, etc. They govern the cadence of our personal and professional lives, with great impact on our levels of personal satisfaction and reward.
The H.G. Fenton Company, for example, outlines its values in these 5 key statements. They are clear, concise, embraced, and alive at Fenton today.
- We do what we say we will do, and we do it well.
- We are fair-minded and honest with each other and those with whom we do business.
- We are committed to our employees’ experience, professional development, success, and quality of life.
- We are committed to our customers and the quality of their experience with us.
- We continually review and improve the quality of our business practices to achieve our goals.
When employees have a vision to work towards, and are excited about living their company’s elevated values, they are energized and motivated to go to work. A natural alignment develops; one that makes them feel better, both personally and professionally; and one that encourages a feeling of making a difference/a positive contribution to the world by simply living those values and working to achieve the vision.
Wow! Pretty amazing.
Who feels like that? A lot of people do. I work with them every day at various companies across the nation. And this sense of fulfillment can be achieved personally, as much as it can be professionally.
What would you like your life to look like? Do you have guiding principles that serve as your “roadmap,” that show you the path of your ennobled journey?
Are you and your “team” (your spouse, children, extended family, etc.) unified? Are you all rowing in the same direction? Maybe you can meet and talk about your vision and values together—become a more unified team, with a sacred space to wake up to, to come home to, and to rest in, because you share the same vision. Just an idea.
On a personal note, my vision is to live and work in joy—to come from a loving place every moment of every day. It excites me, energizes me, and propels me out of bed every morning. And, it guides me—both personally and professionally.
My values are:
- To spread love every day, to everyone I meet.
- To listen deeply and compassionately to others.
- To take every opportunity to celebrate.
- To be present in the moment.
- To connect to the joy and presence within.
- To be still, rest, restore, and rejuvenate regularly.
I have seen individuals’ lives change, cultures cultivated, and stupendous business results realized through the unified focus of a strong vision and honorable values.
Below are six steps to create a shared vision and values with your team.
How to Create a Shared Vision & Values:
- Personally reflect on what you would like the future of your team, organization, or self to look like. Think big, bold, “anything is possible.” Brainstorm about a potential future state until something inside you stirs and you feel a strong desire to work toward that vision. Jot down values that you believe will guide you to reach your vision; values that are essential to reaching that vision. As the leader of yourself, your company, or your team, you always want to start with your vision and value ideas first.
- Next, invite your team to work with you to establish a shared vision and values that you can all support and get behind. Explain the purpose and benefits of having a clear and compelling vision and values. Show them vision and values examples, and ask them to think them through and come to your next meeting prepared to share their ideas for a shared vision and values.
- At your next meeting, have each person share his/her vision and values first. Perhaps you write them down on a flip chart for everyone to see—discuss them, expand on them, brainstorm together, piggyback on each other’s ideas. Add your vision and values into the team ideas. Many times, you’ll find that some of these will have already been brought up by your team. After the team discusses all the ideas shared, each person should then identify the vision and values that most resonate with them. Perhaps they put a check next to those on the flip chart.
- Next, focus on the key vision and values your team identified. Discuss these as a group with the intent of outlining a common, shared vision and values. Agree on the shared vision and values.
- Have another meeting to finalize, solidify, and commit to the new vision and values. At that meeting, talk about how you are going to achieve that vision and what the values that you agreed upon look like on the job every day.
- Post the values, talk about them regularly, live them, and celebrate them in action.
Helpful resource for this exercise: Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination https://fitsmallbusiness.com/vision-statement-examples/