CRAFT YOUR VISION
YOUR VISION STATEMENT
Listen to the above audio to jump into the second pillar: VISION.
Each module will have an audio file (see above) in which I go into more detail on each module, along with some activities for you to follow, along with text to help provide more context.
Craft Your ‘Life Sentence’
It’s been reported that former Congresswoman Clare Booth Luce, who also served as an author and U.S. Ambassador, once told President John F. Kennedy that the lives of all great people could be summed up in one sentence.
She called this a person’s “life sentence.”
When you are trying to define your vision statement, I want you to think of this term, “life sentence.”
As macabre as it may sound, try to imagine your funeral. The person providing your eulogy has been limited to one or two sentences. What one or two sentences would you want your eulogizer to give that would sum up your life in a way that fulfills you?
Don’t just think about work. Don’t just think about family. Don’t just think about self.
Think about all three and the legacy that you would like to leave behind.
Keep it the S.A.I.M.
I’ve seen organizations spend a lot of money and time to create a B.S. “Mission Statement” that takes up five paragraphs and is rarely read or reviewed by anybody in the company.
That’s not a vision statement.
A vision statement should be S.A.I.M (Short, Aspirational, Inspirational and Motivational).
As leadership guru John Maxwell writes: “Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address has a place among the great speeches of American history, yet it was barely three minutes in length ... Slice and dice your vision until it can be shared in a single sentence. The more concise you make your vision, the more memorable it will be.”
Author David Masters also provides some great advice in his article, How to Write Vision and Mission Statements. He writes that an effective vision statement is:
Aspirational in that it’s about your goals.
Inspirational in that it provides life and direction to your day-to-day work (the root of the word “inspiration” relates to breathing life into things).
Motivational in that it provides a reason for the work you do.
Answer these 6 Questions
These six questions can help prime you as you craft your clear, concise, short vision statement:
What things, people, activities make you feel the most passionate?
Where would you like to be in 5 years? 10 years? 25 years?
What are your superpowers? How are you leveraging them? How do you wish you could leverage them?
If you found out you only had one week left to live, what are the one or two things you wish you would’ve done by now, but haven’t?
What are those one or two things you would want to be said about you at your funeral that would make you feel that you passed on a lasting, fulfilling legacy to your children?
What is the impact you want to make in the world?
What exactly does all this mean? Listen to the audio module to find out.