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Setting a Vision You Can See

For many business owners, it can be difficult to have the vision to see where they want to take their company, how they’re going to get there, or even if that’s the best path for them to take. This is a big energy drain going through various iterations of their company’s future, leaving them tired, confused, and overwhelmed, not knowing which way to go. It shouldn’t be so hard to grow a business that others aspire to become. 

The famous basketball player Michael Jordan was interviewed after hitting the winning shot in the NBA finals. Jordan was asked, “When you get ready to take the shot, what’s going on in your head?” Jordan replied, “I can’t see myself missing.” The commentator thought that was a very arrogant comment and totally misunderstood what Jordan was saying. What Jordan meant was, when he gets ready to take the shot, he pictures the ball going in the net in his mind’s eye. When you can see it in your mind’s eye, the body will usually follow. 

Having a vision for your company is one thing. But, inspiring people to see that vision and work towards it is another. From what I’ve read on this topic, most successful CEOs didn’t just raise aspirational levels, they changed the definition of success. Mary Berra, CEO of GM, took the helm in 2014. At the time, the company vision was “to win in the global auto industry”. She reframed that vision as “to win by transforming transportation”. Barra pictured in her mind’s eye that the internal combustion engine may not be here forever, and quickly reframed the game to invest heavily in electric vehicles. Since 2019, Barra has committed to investing $4 billion in electric vehicles. According to recent reports, that investment is beginning to payoff.

Where do you see your business going next year, or in the next 3-5 years? Chances are you’re so busy working in the business, you haven’t taken the time to work on it. Find a quiet place, maybe with your favorite beverage, and start dreaming. Find that dream, picture it in your mind’s eye, and then reframe company success for you and your co-workers. Convert those dreams to goals and those goals to plans. Dream courageously! Fortune favors the brave!

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