No Vision... Know Division!

All arrows point toward what (vision)? 

All arrows point toward what (vision)? 

What’s Your Vision for Your Business?

If you were not immediately able to answer this question, there likely is or will be division in your business. This is true because when your team members don’t know WHY you or they are in this thing, each will start to fill in that blank with their own selfish or preferred reasons.

Then you get division. And as the saying goes: a house divided cannot stand!

So, again: what’s your vision for your business?

There are at least three benefits to having a clear and compelling vision for your business:

Less Division, More Unity

The “defensive” reason to have a compelling vision is to ensure your team does not divide itself into subgroups and fragments that pursue divergent interests and preferences. Think back on your days in grade school when you had a substitute teacher.

If your experiences were anything like mine, you know that when the regular leader and unifying force is gone, so too goes the class structure. And it’s often a free-for-all unless or until the sub teacher firmly establishes control and focus. In almost every group setting I’ve been in, vision and leadership greatly matter due to this phenomenon.

For me personally, the most problematic group situations are when a leader in charge has no vision or direction. Having some of my own God-given leadership gifts, I find this situation intolerable and if it persists for long my natural tendency is to take on or assume leadership to fill the void.

My first major recollection of this occurring was back in 5th grade, where I had a teacher who was well up in years and had long-before lost control of her classroom. There were a few of us students, all with leadership traits, who (destructively) filled that void to “lead” that class with our own immature and selfish goals. It was a disaster, and I regret having been a part of it!

Since then, I’ve seen this pattern repeated many times in all types of personal, professional, and business settings – only with others starring in the disrupter role!

If you don’t already, you’ll someday have immature and selfish team members who’ll disrupt your business the same way if you lack strong vision and direction… However, even if you currently have team members like that, many may still follow you if you have a clear vision and direction they support.

So, your best defense against division in your business is to go on offense when it comes to vision and leadership!

Achieve Something Great

Let’s move on now to another schoolroom example… Who was your favorite teacher?

I have no idea who you just named, but I’ll hazard a guess that it was not a teacher who was directional-less and detached from you. Instead, there’s a very good chance your favorite teacher was someone who led you somewhere good, challenged you to greatness… and did cool and different things with you along the way.

So, to take yet another swing at your leadership mandate as business owner: What’s your compelling vision? Your challenge to your team? What are the cool and different things you want to do along the way?

Are you directional in your leadership toward achieving something great? Do you challenge your team – to greatness? Do you focus on doing cool and different things along the way? Would you earn “favorite leader” status from your team members?

I find that my favorite leaders are mostly sports coaches who: (1) are passionate about achieving something great, (2) have a successful plan for getting it done, and (3) truly care about their players.

Fill in your own blanks with the names of your favorite coaches’ or leaders’ who have these three traits – and my guess is that they are successful and have many committed followers. Then get about the business of adopting or emulating their habits within the context of your own personal leadership style. And there’s a good chance you achieve something great in the process!

Just be sure to start by setting a clear and compelling vision!

Inspire Others and Leave a Legacy

One of the coaches I most admire who has the three traits noted above is Joe Gibbs. While I admire his leadership and track record of success in multiple sporting disciplines… I admire even more his character and the way he conducts himself and treats his team members.

He’s an inspiring figure to me because of the strong character his possesses, and though he’s not “gone,” he’s already established a pretty amazing legacy!

Guess what? You and I have the same opportunity to inspire others and leave a legacy as Gibbs does. It’s in my view one of the biggest benefits of owning and running a business!

You have a position of leadership. Use it for good and have strong character. Have a compelling vision and challenge your team to achieve great things! And your efforts will likely be multiplied as you do!

Our vision is to help small businesses and their owners set the strategy and financial plans needed to be or become heroes in doing what they do. We want our legacy and joy to come from knowing our work helped our heroes – small business owners like you – achieve great things in running their businesses!

What’s your vision for your business? And what great, inspiring, and legacy-oriented aspects will help drive you and your team to realize it?

Long live small business! Long live small business owners!

Jim Smith, Founder, PERFORMIDABLE, LLC