Right Focus Part 2
Vision is a critical part of Right Focus because it describes your preferred future and becomes your overriding long-term goal. Vision answers questions like: “Where do I see myself going?” and “Where do I want to be in the next five to ten years?”
A vision differs from a mission in that the mission statement describes the essence of the person, team or organization and is not an overriding goal that, once achieved, changes. Mission statements usually last for a lifetime. The vision sets a direction you can track and measure. Once you reach your vision, it’s time to create a new one in order to keep growing.
How is a Vision Different from a Mission?
A good example of the distinction between a personal mission and a vision is in the movie, Back to the Future. When the movie opens and Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) enters Professor Emmett Brown’s home, we see that the Professor has hooked up clocks and gadgets to move together in synch and precisely at the top of the hour open a dog food can to feed Einstein, the Professor’s dog. We know before ever meeting the Professor that he loves to invent things. It becomes very clear over the course of the movie that the Professor’s mission or purpose in life is “to invent.”
As the plot expands, we learn that Professor Brown has a clear vision for his next invention – to be the first person to explore the past and the future and be able to come back to the present time – time travel. He accomplishes this vision and he and McFly share some fun and dangerous adventures traveling through time. The Professor used his passion for inventing to fuel his vision of traveling across time. Once he achieved his vision of time travel, he went on to invent other things in the future.
The Power of Aligning Your Vision with Your Organization’s Vision
Some of the best CEOs we interviewed in our research for CEO Road Rules: Right Focus, Right People, Right Execution had a personal vision that lined up with that of their company’s. Bruce Bodaken, the CEO of Blue Shield of California, finds that his personal and organizational visions are aligned. He sees the vision of the company and his personal vision as “creating social change for healthcare.”
Although it puts his organization in a minority position, as most health insurance companies are in favor of privately purchased policies or government programs, Bodaken advocates a public/private universal healthcare plan. He sees his company as leading the way for increasing access to good healthcare for everyone.
“I’ve always been a social activist and got into healthcare accidentally by taking a position that was offered to me,” Bodaken says. “Once I did, the field aligned well with my vision and values. We provide a service that is so fundamental to human life, so necessary. Had it been a grocery store, I don’t think that I could be as effective.” Because Bodaken’s more radical view of supporting universal insurance coverage puts him and his company’s employees at the outer edge, this position is exhilarating to many because they see themselves as trendsetters who have a viable solution to the difficult problem of increasing health care insurance for the public.
By aligning his mission and vision with that of the organization he works for, Bodaken not only puts the power of passion into his work, but his work provides him with a sense of purpose and personal fulfillment that is essential to true fulfillment.
Do you have a personal vision? Creating Your Personal Vision Statement will help you determine your personal vision. Check back with us next week as we discuss the process of developing a vision for your team or organization.
Key Associates, Inc. works with leaders who want to improve their skills and take their growth to the next level. Learn more about our services for individuals here or contact us at 813-831-9500.