Anyone that wears glasses or contacts will tell you that each year the eye exam becomes harder to deal with if the aging process is contributing to your loss of vision. Oh, sure you can see the eye chart with enough magnification, but I can tell you I get tired of hearing, “well your vision is about the same as last year, just a little change is noted.” Oh goody, it is getting worse.
Now eye sight is something we cannot control a whole lot and our vision today is no doubt not as good as it was 10 years ago. Yet the word vision is often used to describe the future of a team, group or company. Some people even have personal vision statements but they all describe what we are shooting for sometime in the future.
A good friend of mine is in the mortgage lending business, and is a goal oriented leader. He strives on pulling everything together to meet or exceed expectations. He has always operated on a vision for where you are headed and he had me laughing last week after he told me why he quit working for his last company.
He told me that the lack of communication up, down, and all around was difficult enough to operate in, but it was the lack of vision for this 30-year-old company that was just too much to deal with any longer. He told me, “when your vision statement only looks out until sometime this afternoon, it is impossible to make rational decisions even in the morning.”
While the crust of his concerns is no laughing matter, you have to wonder how many companies actually operate like this all year-long. Without a vision, how would anyone know where you are headed and make decisions to get the people and processes to that point?
When I ask the question “How Good is your Vision?” I am talking about how far out are you focused. Are you looking past this afternoon, end of the week or month, or are you actually thinking about the entire year, and 5-10 years from now.
It is another topic of how well you communicate your vision to team members, but if you can’t see past the end of the nose on your face you really have no hope of succeeding, and neither does any member on the team.
My friend is now seeking another job. I asked him if he had different questions this time he would ask during the interviewing process. He said he never asked a lot in the past about where the company was headed, but that he realized if they don’t know when they are interviewing, then they have no reason to be hiring either.
So how good is your vision in the role you play in your company?