Question: Is your salon or spa vision truly worthy of the commitment and effort it will take to achieve it?
That’s a pretty deep question with some profound implications. Why? Because in just a sentence or two, your vision statement embodies the company you want to build.
- Vision describes the destination.
- Vision sets the expectation of what the journey to achieve it will be like.
- Vision defines the type of culture it will need to support it through good times and bad.
- Vision inspires the hearts and minds of employees that choose go on this journey with you.
FACT: A vision is nothing more than words. Only the leader can bring life, meaning, and purpose to those words.
Here’s a great example of a leader bringing his vision to life:
In 1983, Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy. Steve Jobs aggressively pursued John Sculley to become Apple’s CEO. (Sculley was vice president of PepsiCo from 1977 to 1983.) After five months of weekly meetings, Jobs finally won Scully over when he said, “You want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”
- Sculley was Apple’s CEO from 1983 to 1993. In that time, Apple went from having revenues of $569 million to $8.3 billion.
Here are six gotta-do’s to achieve your vision:
Bold or blah: Steve Jobs’ vision was to change the world — and in so many ways, he did. What’s your vision? Are you “just doing hair”, or enhancing the lives of others? Are you offering jobs, or careers to create a better future for your employees? I love the story of three brick layers. When asked, “What are you building?”, the first brick layer says, “I’m laying bricks.” The second brick layer says, “I’m building a wall.” But the third brick layer says, “I’m building a grand cathedral.” Question: What are you building?
Visions are perpetual: Your vision is not about today. It’s about achieving something specific and unique for your company. It’s about a future that defines the work and effort you must be committed to doing today. Question: Is your vision capable of standing the test of time, or does it end with you?
Visions are not about you: Company visions are NOT about employees serving you. Company visions are about teams of people working together to achieve something greater than they could working alone. It’s about being part of something special and dynamic. Question: Are you a leader committed to serving those you lead to achieve a better future?
Visions must evolve: Winning is relative. Achieving a goal is relative. Achieving a vision is relative. As you move toward your vision, you learn and acquire essential abilities, knowledge and experience that you didn’t possess at the outset. This means that your wins, goals and visions are relative to that very moment in time. Your vision will change, adapt and become more defined as you progress. Question: Is your vision stuck in the past, or has it evolved and is relevant to the world today?
Visions are about culture and values: When you admire a business for its uncompromising quality, relentless customer service and delivering what was promised when it was promised, what you’re actually admiring is the culture created and governed by its values. That level of refined values-based behavior doesn’t just happen; it’s designed and meticulously cared for. Most importantly, it begins at the top. Question: How rock solid are the values you and your company live by every day? What are you doing to address values that are missing or less than rock solid?
Visions belong to all that fight to achieve it: It’s the leader’s responsibility to create the initial vision. Once created, a vision must be owned, nurtured and protected by the team. This transition can only take place when the leader truly leads. That means full engagement. That means structure, systems and mutual accountability. Without an engaged leader, visions quickly degrade and become irrelevant. Question: What are you doing every day to reinforce your vision to keep it alive and worthy of your team’s efforts?
Here’s my challenge to you: Visions must be revisited and evolve over time. Is your vision overdue for some tender loving care?
Never assume everyone in your company is connected to the vision. Visions tend to degrade as people come and go. Overcoming major challenges, like getting through this pandemic, can cause a disconnect with your company vision. The healthiest way to get your entire team on the same page is to invest the time and energy to take a hard look at your vision. Dust it off. Polish it up. Reconnect yourself and team with the most empowering reason all of you come to work every day — your vision.
This article originally appeared on the Strategies blog.
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