Women in Leadership

Write YOUR Vision

Have you thought about your vision for 2018?

If you feel like I do, 2017 can’t leave fast enough! Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a fairly good year for me. However, I am ready to be done with a lot of what we’ve all experienced this year – especially all things media and politically related. Around this time every year, I either attend or host a vision board party. For those of you who are not familiar, a vision board is a tool people use to help them clarify, concentrate on, and maintain focus on specific life goals and objectives. A vision board party is an opportunity to fellowship with like-minded people, and you create your own vision board. Sounds like fun, right?


As leaders, it is imperative that we not only create vision boards for our personal goals, but we should have a board or at least a journal for our organization as well. Did you know that most leaders don’t plan to fail but rather fail to PLAN? A vision helps you create plans, and plans turn into completed objectives and goals. Let me give you a real-life scenario that changed my playing field as a leader.

When I was District Governor in Toastmasters, I thought just using the Toastmasters model for visionary leadership would be good enough. After all, they were in the business of producing leaders and communicators for almost nine decades. Mid-way through my term, it became crystal clear to me that I needed to add “reinforcements.” Toastmasters International’s Board of Directors’ vision wasn’t sufficient. Not because it was flawed or poorly constructed. Their vision did not pan out with my leadership team because it was not MY vision. The first six months were a struggle because I failed to add my goals for the team and our district. Sadly, it was too late to undo the error in judgement on my end. As a result, we did not meet all of our goals required by Toastmasters to be a distinguished district. We did have great successes in spite of our challenges.

When I coach leadership teams, the first question I ask is “What’s YOUR vision?” I emphasize the word “your” because it is imperative that as leaders, your hand and heart is involved. Sure, your respective organization has their goals and you have to work hard to meet them. However, it is important that you include your thoughts and vision on how to accomplish them. The method I use for creating and writing my vision is What’s my “WHY?” method.

WHAT do I want? HOW will I get it? What will I YIELD from this vision?

What Do I Want?

Your vision should be specific, and answer the simple four-word question – What. Do. I. Want. In your want, you need to outline everything in your want… What is it? What does it look like? Who’s involved with helping me achieve this? Where do I need to look for resources to help me achieve your want? How will everything look when I achieve it? and How long will it take? The time table is important because you will be more likely to stick to the plans of achieving.


How Will I Get it?

Your vision should have a plan in place for achieving or getting the results you want. Again, people do not plan to fail… they fail to plan. Within your vision, write down specifics necessary to achieving your goal. Incorporate your plan with any action plan your organization has in place, but make sure you too have an idea. This is also a great time to make sure your team members have buy-in with your vision. It is important to ask for their input and suggestions. By doing this, you are not only establishing a positive rapport, but you are building trust, creating confidence, and letting your team know that they are valuable, therefore heightening rapport.


What Will I Yield From This Vision?

I get it… you are probably staring at your screen wondering where I am going with this. The fact is this, you have to know what you expect to gain from your vision. Just to say we will be successful isn’t going to cut it. What will everything, and I mean EVERYTHING look like when your vision comes to pass. What will your team’s future look like? What will they gain? What will the company gain? What will you gain as a result of all of your labor and hard works becoming successful? Where will this take you? How can you tie this into your next vision? What’s the profit expectation? All of these questions should have answers and be incorporated into this main question. Teams who don’t place expectations and measures of success at each level have just planned to fail at achieving your vision. Don’t let your hard works and labor be in vain because you neglected this very important step.


Over the next few weeks, sit down and figure out what your vision will be for 2018. Write it down in simple form so you won’t forget it. And for those who are wondering if it’s “corporate” appropriate to do a vision board, my answer is absolutely YES! My team sees my visual board for what I want to accomplish. The lessons learned from previous experiences and failures have helped me tremendously when it comes to gaining buy-in from my team. After all, I would like it to also be their vision for our team as well. Matter of fact, get the notebooks, construction paper, magazines, scissors and glue and have a team vision board party!!! You will be surprised, even pleased with what you all can come up with – together!

Write YOUR Vision, and make it plain!




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