Start with the Vision

Here we are again … the onset of 2014 is near and we are excitedly awaiting the infamous “ball drop” to ring in the New Year! The start of a new year also symbolizes a new beginning – a chance for a fresh start and renewed commitment to sought-after goals.

For those of us who lead teams, this is an excellent opportunity to develop both short- and long-term goals for your team. But hold on a minute – before you start crafting your team’s goals for the year, take a step back and ask yourself, “Do I have a clear vision for my team?”

Having a well-defined vision for your team is critical to your success. If your team doesn’t have a clear direction for where it’s headed, don’t be surprised when they end up at the wrong place. You can accomplish this by creating a mission statement. The mission statement will help focus the efforts of your team and provide clarity around the direction they are headed. Your mission statement should include:

Purpose: describe the reason the team exists – why are we in this business?

Value Proposition: define what sets your team apart from the competition – why come to us and not the other guy?

Function: clarify the team’s core activity – what do we do?

Stakeholders: identify your key customer– who do we serve?

Once complete, your mission statement should be shared across your organization. The most important part of your mission statement isn’t in the words themselves, but that you’ve createda message that resonates with your team members and they live by that mission statement every day.

In order to lead your team to its final destination, you have to get the vision right, and then you can start to set your team and eventually individual goals.

Good luck and best wishes in 2014!