The Value of Vision

By Trever Cartwright

We’ve worked with many clients who have asked us, “Why is having a vision so important—we’re working hard and making our numbers, we’re experiencing success, overall things are pretty good. Isn’t this enough?”

Our answer: “No, it’s not enough. It’s temporary.”

If, from time to time, you have found yourself wondering the same thing, consider the following insights:

Being part of something bigger is why people join—and why they stay. Author Patrick Lencioni says it best: Every employee inside of every organization wants to know that at the core of what they do day in and day out lies something grand and aspirational. We couldn’t agree more. Having a clear vision of the what the future holds is one of the most powerful tools a leader has to recruit and retain the best talent.

The full potential of an organization is a direct reflection of the clarity of its vision. People don’t get out of bed each morning to rush into the office to complete tasks. The get out of bed and rush into the office because they want to contribute to something meaningful. If the meaning behind what we do each day isn’t clear, then we cannot, as leaders, tap into the full potential of our organization. For an organization to achieve its full potential, there needs to be a fundamental belief by its people that the future will be better because of the difference we’re making today.

Vision is a cornerstone of employee engagement. Offering employees a purpose or a cause (and relentlessly pursuing it) is perhaps the single most important thing a leader can do. It’s a gift that just keeps giving. Without a purpose or a cause, employees are simply collecting a paycheck because they completed tasks, and nothing more. At the end of the pay period, they may be quite satisfied—but they won’t be truly engaged.

Clear visions bring focus to decision making at all levels of an organization. When employees believe in and are inspired by a clear vision of where their organization is going and why, their decisions—regardless of their roles—are easier to make because they have a bigger context that informs their thinking and, ultimately, the choices they make.