In case you missed it, we’re into Week 10 of 2019. Yes, time flies – regardless of whether you’re having fun or not. According to research, it’s that time of the year where your goals – both personal and business – are either firmly on track or have gone off the rails.
Much like our individual health or fitness goals, the goals we set for our own businesses become far more achievable when they are connected to a broader vision.
A vision is a broad, timeless statement that serves as a “touchstone for your future actions.” The vision, in turn, is informed by the mission, which is the “roadmap” to how you intend to realise your vision. Whilst goals lay down the milestones that need to be achieved along the way.
Getting back to goals
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s explore what goals are and why they’re important. Really unless your goals satisfy the SMART test (Specific, Measurable, Relevant, Realistic, Time frame) they are likely little more than wishes.
Your Reticular Activating System is tasked with (amongst other things) filtering the information that you consciously become aware of. Goal setting lets your RAS know what’s important to you. Ever had the experience when buying a new car and suddenly everyone’s driving the exact same car you’re interested in! That’s you’re RAS at work.
Goals also enroll (and hopefully inspire) your team. Management guru Charles Handy once said: “A leader shapes and shares a vision which gives point of work to others.”
The point of work Handy was referring to is really about your company’s mission and how achieving the goals you have set for your business start to move you closer to that inspired vision.
What is your mission?
Mission statements are crucial to your business because they articulate to your employees and your target markets the things that make your company different from others in your sector and how you intend to achieve your vision.
Consider Google’s mission statement: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” In a nutshell Google is describing what its employees do on a daily basis. One of which is to continually developing algorithms to maximize effectiveness in online communication.
Now consider Google’s vision statement: “To provide access to the world’s information in one click.” The link between the company’s mission and vision statements is crystal clear.
Keeping an eye on the vision
A vision statement pushes a Company to reach new heights. As leadership mentor Michael Hyatt notes: “Vision begins with the heart, but it cannot end there. To be actionable, a vision must also be concrete.”
Hyatt notes four key elements of making a vision “stick”, as he calls it. They are rather self-explanatory but are nevertheless important to note. They are:
1. A statement of culture (who are we?)
2. A description of product (what do we do?)
3. A concept of the market (who are we trying to reach?)
4. A desired impact (what is the outcome of your team’s effort?)
This brings us back to the start. By setting your goals with the intention of aligning them to your mission, you will get closer to realising your vision.
A clearly defined vision, mission, and set of goals will establish a clear direction, purpose, and benchmarks for your business’s success.
Remember, you still have 42 weeks left this year to make an impact in your business. It’s never too late to start setting some goals.
Is your business on track? Click here to complete our Business Health Check to find out!