Does your Vision Energize you, Millennial Leader?
A Google search to learn more about writing a vision statement left me confused. The process was supposed to provide clarity for moving forward. Instead, I felt cross-eyes. There are just so many different ideas. And really – what is the difference between a vision, mission and purpose statement?!? Some experts define each of these in the same way. Others will say exactly the opposite!
What kind of work have you done to create your personal vision statement? Does it energize you? Is it providing the clarity you need to keep moving forward?
What is the formula for a perfect vision statement?
During a challenging time in my career, I worked with an executive leader coach, with hopes of having someone help me discern the way forward. At times, I felt confused, depressed, and even despondent.
One of the foundational exercises my coach had me work on was a vision statement. I started out with enthusiasm, but soon felt frustrated. Nothing I came up with seemed to fit the “formula” for what a good vision statement was supposed to sound and look like. She showed me examples to get my creative brain working. They were all short, pithy and well…looked so professional. Mine? Clubby and cluttered.
I stumbled around some more. Finally, during one of our coaching conversations, I said, “This is all so confusing!” Frustrated, I said, “The only thing I know for certain is: I am a woman made in God’s image that is being strategically sent to particular times, people, places and nations to participate in God’s purpose and plans.”
She sensed my internal commitment to the idea. It didn’t fit the “vision formula” that she was following. But she agreed that if it resonated with me, we should go for it until something more solid came up.
Over the next couple of years, I tested it out. Whenever I felt depressed, overwhelmed, or disengaged, I would say my vision statement out loud. And every single time, something inside me woke up! I was back on track, seeking to serve others. The statement, regardless of whether it’s a vision, mission, or purpose statement, resonated with me internally and energized me every time I read it.
Years later, as I was writing Millennials Matter, I worked with another executive leadership coach, who pressed in further on Vision Statement. Thank goodness, he was an excellent wordsmith and could transform my visionary ideas into a phrase. So, this is how my vision statement currently reads:
“I energize, encourage, and equip senior business leaders to coach and mentor emerging leaders so that they maximize their business, activate their leaders, and realize their leadership legacy.”- Danita Bye
Some would say that this doesn’t fit the “formula” either. That’s okay – it works for me. Whenever I get sidetracked by external forces, I read my vision statement and say, “Oh yeah, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing!”
What are the benefits of a vision statement?
To lead well and to have the trust needed to mentor other leaders we need to be firmly grounded, rooted and focused on the future. A Personal Vision Statement will add this clarity. Here are some of the benefits you can expect to gain from a well-defined vision statement:
- Provides direction
- Gives us purpose
- Describes our calling
- Reminds us of our uniqueness
When I reflect on my personal vision and purpose, I’m always inspired by this verse in scripture:
Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
What a great vision to have for those you lead!
How to write your Personal Vision Statement
Consider the following when you write your Personal Vision Statement:
- Keep it short and sweet – Your vision statement should not be longer than a single sentence. Use simple, clear language that even a very young person will understand. If you need inspiration, do a quick Google search to see how the big corporate names have defined their vision statements.
- Create Alignment – A vision statement should be more than well-defined words on a page. If those you lead ask, “Where are we going,” your vision statement should provide the answer. Is there alignment in your vision, values and virtues culture? If not, it might be the reason you are struggling to attract and retain top talent. Consider these insights from Davin Salvagno – “The results-driven operations executive in me would have labeled this “fluff”. The HR Executive in me would have considered this foundational. The executive coach in me calls this what it is…Real Talk.”
- Think forward – Create a vision statement that is focused on sustainable success, priorities, and a plan of action. However, your vision statement can (and should) be reviewed, changed or expanded. If you are still hanging on to your vision statement that you wrote when you started out in business, you will lose the war on talent. Yes, this war has been going on for decades, but it is intensifying. The ever-changing technological landscape, AI, and robotics can make even the most experienced leader wonder what the job description of tomorrow will look like.
Millennials are looking for a virtuous leader with a vision to moving them forward. When they spot that leader, they experience a sense of belonging. They are drawn to actions that they find exciting, and at the same time, are serving the world. Will you develop a personal vision statement that will energize you to lead the emerging leader in your sphere of influence that will keep him/her focused for the future?
In an upcoming blog post, I will tell you how to write your Personal Values Statement that will inspire the Millennials you lead. How can read it HERE.
Leadership Lesson: Leaders build leaders. Ramp up your efforts to create a Personal Vision Statement that will inspire Millennials to follow you.
Leadership Question: How does your Personal Vision Statement contribute to a culture that energizes millennial leaders?