by Tony Vidler
Vision is the thing that initially drives all progress. Somebody’s view of how something can be…will be….is the catalyst for achievement of great change.
His vision of how the world could be. Should be. Would be. One day.
But what was Dr King’s purpose? It seems from all I have read and seen that his primary purpose was to help create a better, safer and fairer world for his children, and other children like them.
Purpose is intensely personal for most of us. Vision is the picture of what we will create in order to achieve our purpose.
Every business owner should have a vision of how their world will be. And yet most don’t.
So what is the point of taking the risk of creating your own business when instead you could just have a job with a steady pay-packet?
The point should be “because I have a vision of a different future”.
Each individual adviser should begin with their own “end in mind”…have a clear picture of what it is you are trying to create. All too often professionals are asked by coaches, mentors and business gurus to “define their purpose” in order to empower themselves, and not surprisingly advisers struggle to express “purpose”. The unspoken reason for this of course is that more often than not the advisers purpose is NOT to be an evangelist, missionary or social worker – there is no noble and higher purpose that was responsible for one being a professional adviser particularly. It is a job. It is simply how someone chose to make their living. They chose it because they are good at it, and there is a need for it, and they can make some money from doing it. But it doesn’t sound nice if we say that out loud when the guru’s prompt us for our “why”. Our purpose is personal….not for sharing with gurus.
Here’s a confession then: my vision for how my professional world will be involves me travelling to exotic places, eating wonderful food and drinking excellent wines with my lovely lady, while meeting and working with a huge range of interesting people from different cultures while earning more money than she can spend. It is a lofty ambition to be sure. There is also an ego-driven desire to help change a little part of the world and leave a positive imprint….be remembered as being someone who made a difference…..so there is purpose underpinning why I do things that I do. It is purpose which drives the desire to do things professionally, and deliver fabulous value and help change the world around me.
However purpose is not vision. Purpose is how values and ethics and super-ego gel to determine how we will do what we do and why we are doing what we do. The vision on the other hand is the clear mental picture of the objective…the finishing line….the future world we choose to have. Something that isn’t there yet…but which will be.
Many many professionals confuse purpose with vision. Because purpose is usually very personal it is not something that they often share, even with their close friends or business partners. The result is a lack of clarity of vision. There is often no “what do we want our business to look like” because of the reluctance to share “why I want my business to look like that”.
Do not mistake purpose for vision. Do not make the mistake of having no vision because you don’t want to share your purpose. Keep your purpose personal, but define the business vision and express it. Tell your people what the vision is. Paint the future picture of how your part of the business world will be. Clear vision has the power to move the masses and shape the future, and should be the beginning point of a professional’s business planning.