A company without a vision statement does not have a clear direction, and people without clear direction tend to go through life easily affected by every wind that blows.
In this article, we will show you how to make a vision statement for your business, as well as for your personal life.
What Is a Good Vision Statement?
A vision statement describes the future state that an organization or a person wants to reach. It serves to motivate and excite the employees about the progress that the group will make over time.
Note that a vision statement is different from a mission statement. Whereas the vision statement shows the future description of the company’s status, the mission statement describes what an organization does and what makes it different from others in the same field.
In short, the vision describes “what” the company will be, while the mission describes “how” it will get there.
As you will see from the examples in the next section, a good vision statement is:
- Short and simple: While you may want to have an expanded vision statement to give more detail, it’s best to have a short version that is easy to remember and repeat.
- Specific: A good vision statement needs to describe a unique result that only you can give.
- Clear: Vague words or descriptions weaken a vision statement. Choose clarity over fanciful language.
- Easy to understand: A good vision statement is one that people inside and outside the organization can easily comprehend.
- Challenging, but not impossible: A vision that’s too easy or obvious can fail to inspire, but one that seems impossible will also discourage the people in your organization.
What Is an Example of a Vision Statement?
To give you a clearer picture of a strong vision statement, here are a few examples from some of the most popular organizations in the world today:
- Amazon: To be the world’s most customer-centric company
- Charity: Water: Every person on the planet will have access to life’s most basic need—clean drinking water.
- Citibank: To be the most competent, profitable, and innovative financial organization in the world
- Disney: To be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information / To make people happy
- Facebook: To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected
- Google: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful
- Habitat for Humanity: A world where everyone has a decent place to live
- LinkedIn: To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful
- McDonald’s: To be the world’s best quick service restaurant experience
- Microsoft: A computer on every desk and in every home
- Netflix: Helping content creators around the world to find a global audience
- Nike: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world
- Paypal: The web’s most convenient, secure and cost-effective payments solution
- Samsung: To lead the digital convergence movement
- Save the Children: A world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development, and participation
- Sony: To be the most comprehensive entertainment company in the world
- Starbucks: To establish Starbucks as the most recognized and respected brand in the world
- UPS: The enablers of global e-commerce
How to Write a Vision Statement for Your Organization
Now that you have seen some examples of excellently-written vision statements, you can try your hand at writing your organization’s own statement by following the steps below:
1. Imagine how your organization will look when it reaches its full potential.
Think of your organization or business 10–20 years from now. When it has reached its full potential, what will it look like? What will the world look like with your business plowing full-speed ahead?
Usually, nonprofits focus on what the world will look like, whereas for-profit organizations describe their role in this future world.
Write down any thoughts that come to mind. Don’t worry about editing it just yet.
2. Define the purpose of your organization.
Now that you have a picture of how you want the world to look at your company’s peak, define your purpose as an organization. It’s crucial that you determine to what extent you will be involved in that future picture.
The same future can look like different things to different people, so remember to look at it through the perspective of your organization’s purpose.
For example, a non-profit organization that wants to see “every child have access to education” will need to lay down what its role is in reaching that dream.
Is it to provide finances to build schools? Is it to network with existing schools to give scholarships? Is it to supply neighborhoods with books?
3. Describe how success looks for your organization.
What is unique about your organization? Define this in a clear and succinct way.
For example, a charity dedicated to providing clean drinking water might measure success in terms of the number of towns installed with facilities to provide potable water.
4. Don’t hesitate to reference other successful organizations.
If you’re a small organization, citing a larger, more prominent counterpart may help others visualize your dream for the company.
For example, if you want to become a fulfillment center in your region or country, your vision might be “To become the Amazon of India.”
What Is a Personal Vision Statement Example?
Whereas vision statements are the foundation of any business, not everyone has a personal vision statement.
But just as a company tends to lack direction without a clear vision, the same proves true for individuals who just let circumstances dictate their life.
If you want your life to count and impact others at its maximum potential, you need to craft your own personal vision statement. In fact, studies show that personal vision is the one factor that determines a person’s satisfaction and success.
Best-selling author Steven Covey writes in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:
“Begin with the end in mind.”
This tells us that a vision statement is not limited to organizations. Mike Bickle of the faith-based community International House of Prayer teaches their leaders to use a Power of a Focused Life Worksheet, which starts with defining one’s life vision.
Examples of personal vision statements include:
- To consistently lead with integrity, fairness, humility, and clear and honest communication
- To find beauty in God’s Word, the world, and the works of the human heart, and to bring others along for the journey
- To be an expert transformer of broken people
How to Write a Personal Vision Statement
The process for writing a personal vision statement is not exactly the same as that of businesses and organizations. One reason is that you can probably dream up something grander when thinking about an organization!
The following steps will help you:
1. What would you want others to say about you at the end of your life?
Key people in your life may include your spouse or life partner, close friends, your children, your colleagues, or your employees.
For example, you might want your future children to say, “He was a committed father who prioritized us over others.”
2. List the top values you want to see in your life.
Values are basic beliefs that motivate or guide your actions and attitudes. These principles will affect the way you act and make decisions. What core beliefs do you have? How do you want your life to be characterized?
Examples of core values that you might want to choose from include:
- Integrity and honesty
- Transparency and vulnerability
- Prudence and discretion
- Financial freedom
3. Write down your strengths and passions.
Determining how you want to spend the rest of your life takes time, but your strengths and passions can help give you an overview of your life vision.
Take time to list down all your strengths and passions, no matter how unrelated they might be, because you never know how each one will play a part in your overall life vision.
For example, in his book Master of One, Jordan Raynor shares the story of Fred Rogers of the famed Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Mr. Rogers first identified one of his strengths as music, but he also discovered that because of a bullied childhood, he was interested in child development.
Through numerous twists and turns, he ended up combining both these passions into decades of teaching children through educational TV shows.
4. Write down a detailed description of what you see for your life.
At this point, let yourself visualize how you want your life to look based on your answers from Steps 1–3.
Write down every detail you think of. Don’t worry about the length; the important thing at this stage is to be as descriptive as possible.
From the drawn-out description of your vision, write a two- to three-sentence summary.
Now that you have the detailed version, it’s time to write the short version. Take a look at all the factors you mention in the long description: chances are, many of them can fall under the same category. Write it out in 2–3 sentences.
Find Your Vision
Vision statements are incredibly helpful tools for helping you to find your purpose and stay on track with your goals for both your business and yourself. You can also make your own vision board so you can be reminded of your goals every day!
Follow the steps outlined above to craft your own vision statement and start working toward your dreams today!
Do you have a personal or business vision statement? Share it with us in the comments below!