This week we continue our journey to peak performance as a leader with step 3 (and chapter 3 of my book) – having a clear positive vision of where you’re going that’s shared with everyone.

In simple terms, as a leader of a business you need to know the point B you aspire to reach from the point A where you are now. If you don’t define this clearly, your days may well be spent going off at tangents that aren’t the best use of your time or the time of others. It really is all about focus.

Creating your future direction actually starts with some clarity on where you are now. Your point A. A good tool for this is a classic SWOT analysis. What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats relating to where you are right now? In the PI Leadership model we use a SWOTT, which also includes the developing “trends” in your market. However you do it, carrying out some initial analysis will be very important in plotting the direction for the future.

I would strongly recommend including your team in these discussions too, as they will provide greater insight. It’s also vitally important to involve and engage them in setting the course for the business, as only through engaging them will you get the very best from them (more of that next week).

To set your future vision, look 3-5 years ahead and set some targets or results you would like to achieve in the different aspects of your business. But then come up with one clear defining vision that will inspire and motivate everyone.

For example Amazon’s vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company. What is your vision for you and your business? Bill Gates once said we underestimate what we can achieve in the long term. So remember to think big because, with your positive insight firmly set in the positive, your potential is so much greater than you believe.

It’s then important to look at your mission. Which is “how” you will achieve your vision. What are the behaviours and things you need to do to realise your vision?

Harley Davison’s mission statement is to fulfil dreams through the experience of motorcycling, by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public an expanding line of motorcycles and branded products and services in selected market segments.

What are the key parts of your mission?

When you have the future vision and mission clear, it is then about bringing this into the short term. I am a great advocate of 90 day planning, to ensure you keep on track to your vision and long term goals. Take note though that Bill Gates also said that we over estimate what we can achieve in the short term!

So I would recommend “thinking big and delivering realistically”.

In achieving your strategic vision and short term goals, remember you also need to measure progress and re-plan and be flexible in your journey.

One method I spoke about previously, to keep you inspired on the journey is to see your x-spots. Reaching your destination will have challenges on the way, but the clearer you are on where you are going and why, the more likely you are to get there.

If I can be of any help in supporting your work on setting your destination, please drop me a line.