“8 Questions for Helping Others Develop a Vision Statement”

Guest Post by Dr. K. Shelette Stewart

             Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may      run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will      not lie, though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

– Habakkuk 2: 2-3 (NKJV)

As leaders, we know that the word vision is generally defined as the power of seeing; discernment; something seen in the imagination, in a dream, or in one’s thoughts. A vision statement describes the long-term aspirations of a company and offers direction for the organization by encouraging behaviors that are consistent with the achievement of the corporate mission.

It’s important that we encourage the people we are leading on the importance of leveraging vision statements for themselves as individuals and for their teams and initiatives.  We must help them be understand that their mission statement communicates what an individual or organization is doing and a vision statement communicates where he/she and/or their team is going.

We must help others understand that their mission and vision statements should not be mutually exclusive. Accomplishing one should not preclude achieving the other. Both should be able to coexist. Their vision statement should describe a state that is a natural progression to a higher level of excellence from the core business focus embodied in their mission statement.

 What I learned at The Coca-Cola Company

I had the pleasure of serving in leadership roles with The Coca-Coola Company for 10 years.  During my tenure, one of our corporate best practices, that I still share with my clients today, was to begin every major project or initiative with a “Destination Document,” which describes what success looks like.  It helped us identify the vision statement for the project.

I loved Destination Documents!  They helped me manage our corporate partnerships with leading organizations including Burger King Corporation, The National Parks Foundation, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  I believe that we, as leaders, might leverage these same principles for helping others develop vision statements for themselves and/or their organizations and projects!

8 Questions for Helping Others Develop a Vision Statement 

  1. What is destination / vision for your organization / project?
  2. What does success look like for you and/or your project / team?
  3. Have you engaged others in developing the vision statement?
  4. How are you sharing your vision?
  5. With whom are you sharing your vision?
  6. Are your team members embracing the vision?
  7. What is your #1 concern about your vision statement
  8. What might you and your team do differently to achieve your vision?

 The 8 Habakkuk Guidelines for Helping Others with their Vision Statements

The book of Habakkuk provides excellent guidelines and practical principles for helping others put their God-given vision into action. Let’s begin with Habakkuk 2:2-3, where God provides detailed          instructions for establishing a vision statement. For instance, He says that your vision is:

  1. To be written down or recorded (v.2).
  2. To be made plain so that others can understand it (v.2).
  3. To be shared with other individuals (v.2).
  4. For motivating others toward a common goal (v.2).
  5. To be acted on or implemented (v.2).
  6. For a specific time in the future (v.3).
  7. Not to be discarded (v.3).
  8. Fail-proof (v.3).

Leverage these steps and principles when coaching others and helping them identify, design, and communicate the vision for themselves and for their teams and projects / initiatives.

When God gives the Vision, He also offers the Provision 

Encourage those who you are leading!  Let them know that when God gives you the vision, He also gives you the provision that you need to accomplish them (Psalm 37:5). He will give you all of the necessary resources—both tangible (e.g., professional contacts and financial resources) and intangible (e.g. grace and favor)—to make what you envision a reality.

Remind your teams that whenever God gives us a vision, He not only supplies the provision, but He actually goes ahead of us to prepare a way for us to accomplish His will (Exodus 23:20; Matthew 11:10; Isaiah 45:2-3).

Whatever God calls you to do, pursue it wholeheartedly with the confidence that you will achieve it “for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23, NKJV; Numbers 23:19). As Jesus says, “Because of your faith it will happen” (Matthew 9:29).

Dr. K. Shelette Stewart

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. K. Shelette Stewart is an author, global speaker, consultant, and graduate of Harvard University with over 20 years of leadership experience with prominent organizations including Harvard Business School, The Coca-Cola Company, and BellSouth/AT&T. She is a Fulbright Foreign Specialist with a Doctorate in Business Administration and the founder and principal of Stewart Consulting, LLC, a firm dedicated to helping organizations, including Microsoft, Chick-fil-A, Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru), and Yunnan University in China, with strategic planning and leadership development. Dr. Stewart serves on several Boards and is the author of the award-winning book, Revelations in Business: Connecting Your Business Plan with God’s Purpose and Plan for Your Life© which has been formally endorsed by several industry leaders including Dan Cathy, Chairman of Chick-fil-A.  Learn More: SheletteStewart.com

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