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Common Vision: A Final Thought (Part 4) by Gene Myers

Common Vision: A Final Thought (Part 4) by
Article Posted: 03/23/2010
Article Views: 369
Articles Written: 187
Word Count: 834
Article Votes: 3
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Common Vision: A Final Thought (Part 4)

Business,Education,Small Business
Now that we know the differences among vision, mission, and goal; there are several other pearls of wisdom that deserve a mention. They are:

1. Vision and service to others 2. Ideals 3. Extraordinary aspects of vision, and 4. The power of individual vision.


Once again, we challenge the short-term, quick-result, me-me-me way of thinking, which I know is unwelcome news to many so-called leaders of today. Think I'm kidding? Just watch Donald Trump's television show, The Apprentice. It's all about assigning blame to others, and putting self first; and the hell with the team! Yeah, I know it's only a TV show--but it sends a terrible message. Anyway, a vision of greatness must focus on service, on adding value to and empowering others. The long-term success of any organization represents more than market share or profit. Long-term success reflects making a contribution to others such that all of society moves forward.

In front of Stew Leonard's massive store in Norwalk, Connecticut stands a six-ton rock dedicated to expressing Leaonard's view of customer service. It reads:

Rule No. 1: The customer is always right! Rule No. 2: If the customer is ever wrong, reread Rule No. 1.

What a vision statement! Most places believe the customer is right when it's convenient to have the customer be right. Not so with Stew Leonard. The customer is always right even when it is extremely inconvenient. And it is that vision that empowers employees to do whatever it takes to make the customer happy, even if it means a short-term loss. The first part of a common vision is to remember that it's all about others.


A vision of greatness is an expression of the spiritual and idealistic sides of our nature. After all, the business world as well as our day-to-day existence is mostly about practical matters. When we touch the spiritual nature of people, they are much more likely to be moved to action than if we try to appeal to their logic. The only exception would be if the organization is comprised mostly of left-brained analysts in which case the shared values, and therefore, their common vision would be driven by logic. Generally, people need to know that the vision will accomplish some greater good, and are aware of its qualities which are described below:

1. Vision is from the heart. It may not be considered practical or reasonable. Goals are practical and reasonable; vision may not be. The loftiness of a vision may seem as though it asks too much of us. If it does, that's a clue we're on the right track. How can a vision by grand if it doesn't require us to stretch? A vision requires sacrifice, but it's sacrifice that's given gladly.

2. Vision is authentic. This means the vision statement comes from you. No one can make the statement for you. It must be personal in order for us to "own" it. It must be recognized as uniquely ours'. The vision must be an extension of our personal being.


If it spells out our highest ideals and wishes, it stands to reason that it will stand out above the commonplace. It will set us apart from the crowd. This may be risky. Most of us have grown up being manipulated. We are constantly presented with a social mirror: magazines, advertisements, televison. Each of these media purport to be a reflection of normalcy. We are led to believe that being normal is to create a vision like everyone else's. If we choose to venture outside of what is considered normal, we will be criticized; yet people have great respect for risk-takers.

Theorem: An organizational vision will be successful ONLY if the team vision is part of the organizational vision. The team vision will be successful ONLY if the individual vision is part of the team vision.

Great visions are not handed down from above. They are not dictated or manipulative. They are created, crafted, and shaped by those in partnership; built by those who will be living the vision.


W. Edwards Deming was a man driven by his vision. In the 1950s after his ideas about productivity and management were not embraced by mainstream American managers, he went to Japan. He did not alter his vision, but he did alter his platform, and he became the major force in establishing Japan as a major economic power. His credo was constant learning and growth. He lived his vision, which touched millions.

But vision, like so many other things, represents a whole much greater than its parts. And vision cannot be built by simply assembling its pieces.

It has to come from the heart.

Gene Myers http://www.strategicpublishinggroup,com/title/AfterHours.html Be sure to read After Hours available from and www.barnes&

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