“I have a vision,” one leader announced confidently. Then he frowned. “Or is it a mission? Or a goal? Oh, who cares? God knows what I mean.”
True, but He may be the only one who does!
Those who follow will struggle to know where they’re going if the leader cannot articulate the vision clearly. Everyone has confidence in a leader who is sure of the destination—and how to get there.
Here are the five basic concepts of vision casting. Master them, and people will follow you.
Mission is the overall goal, and it never changes. The is the big-picture statement that answers the question “Why are were here?” In fact, many mission statements begin with the words, “We exist in order to…”
A vision provides focus for what the organization will become or accomplish in this particular place at this particular time. Vision should be local, specific and inspiring. For example, your church might declare, “Our vision is to reach every home in this community with the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Your business vision might state, “We will become the largest provider of service in the county.”
Values are the nonnegotiable characteristics of an organization—its heart and soul. They guide leaders and enable them to say the crucial word “no.” If a new project is proposed, it must pass through the grid of values to determine whether it fits the organization’s identity and purpose. If it will, then it is moved to the next level of planning. If it does not match the organization’s values, it gets the big N-O.
Strategy is the plan for accomplishing the vision. It incorporates all relevant considerations in a way that provides the most efficient means of getting the job done. An effective strategy includes strategic objectives, intermediate and long-term plans that advance the vision.
Goals represent what the organization desires to accomplish within a certain time frame. Goals must be specific, measurable and dated. A church’s goal might be to win 25 people to Christ within one year. A business may aim to increase production by 5 percent in 13 weeks. Goals become the objective criteria for measuring effectiveness and ultimate progress.
Know your mission. See your vision clearly. Communicate these effectively, and you will succeed.