The difference between Vision and Mission is the difference between what you stand for — and where you are in relation to that stance. Christos M. Cotsakos, the former Chairman and CEO of E*TRADE used to have a quote from Winnie the Pooh on his reminder board:
“Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.”
Vision Answers Life’s Great Questions
Vision. Mission. Values. Purpose. Identity. Those are just a few of the words you use on your website, in your annual report, in every place – hopefully including throughout your organization’s decision-making. Used well, they become powerful platforms for growth and acceleration (otherwise they are just pompous language). Your Vision builds on manifesting your answers to the three most powerful and ancient philosophical questions humankind has always asked:
- Who am I?
- Why am I here?
- What matters?
Leadership decision-making starts with your Vision. It’s what you, your team, and your organization will see in the future. A Vision built on your Identity, Purpose, and Values is the most grounded and inspiring process to create that future. Done well, it is what fuels inspiration, engagement, and focus on what matters the most.
Vision and Purpose Drive Mission
When your team understands the difference between Vision and Mission, they immediately know how to make better decisions; prioritizing gets faster and easier, and their decision-making strategies get clearer and congruent. In a previous blog on Leadership Decision Making, we told a story about Southwest Airlines. Knowing their Vision was to always be the lowest-priced airline on all their routes made their Mission simple: Whatever decision anyone faces, they can ask themselves, “Will this contribute to making us the lowest-priced airline?”
Learn From Experts
Every highly successful organization operates with the foundation of its Vision and Mission. And unlike too many companies, everyone in the organization knows why they’re there, what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Employing the Strategic Alignment Process™ ensures that the important differences and the essential alignments are present in bringing their Vision and Mission to life. Imagine your entire organization being infused and inspired to achieve the most important and valuable shared objectives. Imagine your company fully engaged around the power of your compelling vision and mission – just like the highest performing organizations. It can happen…and you can lead the way.
To learn more on how to optimize your decision-making process, schedule an intro call at OptimizeCalendar.com