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Thought leadership, insights, and success stories

Business Leadership Series Part 3: Create the Vision

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Absolutely essential in your role as business leader is inspiring everyone involved in your company to achieve higher and higher levels of success by: creating the vision. After implementing part 1 and part 2 of this Business Leadership Series, you now have a solid understanding of the company, and should be ready to paint a picture of the future.

The goal of this step is to create an image of how you envision the business when it’s operating at its best. This process will help clarify what you aspire to be and where you want to get to as an organization.

First, it’s important to recognize what a vision is and is not. You’ll also want to be clear on the difference between the mission and the vision.

Vision: A picture of how you see the business when all the work is done - when all the gaps have been filled, when everything that needs work and fixing is in good condition. Imagining and clarifying this will help you convey to your team where the company is, on its the path to that final destination. Then, you can show your team how, as a team, you are going to get to the vision.

Mission: The mission is why you do what you do. It’s the motivation behind the organization’s existence and impacts every part of the business. It is why people come in to work every day and varies depending on the company.

Strategy: Strategies are areas of focus that you should have in order to close those gaps you identify between your current state and your ideal state (the vision). Once you know where you are and where you want to go, then you know the gaps to fix to get there – these gaps are closed by the strategies you employ.

Tactics: Tactics are the actual projects or initiatives that are identified and put in place to execute those strategies and ultimately get closer to the vision.

The fact is, as a leader, clearly conveying your vision is a key part of what you do and how you lead. You need to be clear and vivid about what that vision is. You can’t have a vague vision – no one rallies around that. If you say, “We want to be the best company” – people are going to ask, well what does that mean? You need a clear vision so that people are able to see it for themselves and picture it in their head in a way that resonates.

When you’re crafting your vision, be sure to tell a story

Again, start with a broad narrative: here’s what the vision is and why. Then as you drill down into the strategies needed to head toward the vision. Invite people to picture the destination and the few key things you’ll need to focus on to get there. You’ll be able to energize your team around the strength and precision of an end goal – and the thoughtful steps you have to take to get to that end goal. From there, everyone on the team can understand where you’re going and how you plan to get there together.

Organize your strategies into two categories

Generally speaking, your strategies should be organized into two categories:  Growth Strategies—initiatives focused on helping you get bigger, and Productivity Strategies—initiatives focused on helping you get better.

Some teams will need to focus on getting better before getting bigger – looking back to the previous steps in the leadership development. You need to fix big gaps in efficiency before you grow. Some organizations aren’t ready and need to be balanced with fewer growth strategies, and other businesses are in better shape in terms of efficiency, so they can focus more on growth than productivity. 

Setting a clear vision is critical

Overall, setting a clear vision that your team can rally around is a critical component to your business’s success.  If they can see the vision, and believe in it, you will have a highly productive team working hard to achieve the vision. Stay tuned to learn more about how you can lead effectively to strengthen and grow your business – subscribe to our blog today

Written by: Raymond DiDonna

Ray DiDonna is Senior Vice President, Head of Underwriting and Claims, responsible for leading all underwriting and claims business lines for the Americas unit of RGAX. Ray has been in the insurance industry for more than 30 years holding leadership roles at various organizations including The Hartford Group, General Electric and Phoenix Life Insurance Company.

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