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Leadership is easier when People are Inspired

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 @ 08:21 AM

guest speakerHow do you inspire people? One leadership train of thought is that inspiration flows from a vision statement. I once heard that a good company vision has two qualities:

1)It is visual, it literally creates a picture in your mind( ie- NASA's vision was to put a man on the moon- very visual)

2)It is understandable by a 4th grader. Something like leadership in world class customer service is not something a 4th grader would get(or neither would alot of adults)

Most vision statements don't inspire me and they don't have these qualities. I did some searching around on the internet and found some random mission/ vision statements:

Intel- From what i could sess out, Intel's vision is...Inspired innovation that's changing the world. It does sound impressive and I do like it. Is it visual? No. I don't get a picture in my brain when i read this. Is it understandable by a 4th grader? No. I don't know any 4th graders who talk about innovation.

General Electric- Imagination at Work. Intuitively, I like this one better than Intel, it feels more inspiring. Is it visual- does it create a picture in your brain? Yes, although vague... I think of a brain that is creating things. Is it understandable by a 4th grader?  possibly, depending on the 4th grader. Most children have a great imagination and may know what this means.

Keeping in mind both of these companies are huge and diverse. GE is far more diverse than Intel (they are involved in infrastructure, finance, media, healthcare and more). Yet GE has a better vision, just according to me.

lululemon athletica. At first glance i thought their vision was dance, sing, floss and travel. This statement is visual and understandable.I couldn't find a  vision, it may be yoga inspired  clothes.

I think they should have a vision like stretchy products to sweat in, but that's not inspiring.This is company where they have a lot of fun at work and they hire motivational speakers to show them how ( personal experience), so of course I like them.

From this limited research, the 3rd quality I would add to a good vision is Inspiring to Customers. It should make you want to do something differently and compell you to want to positively impact your life.

When i was a guest speaker at a hospital their mission was Inspiring a Strong and Healthy Community. It is visual( I imagine people jumping up and down smiling because they are so healthy).It is understandable, even a 4th grader would understand. Thirdly it has the potential for inspiration ( who doesn't want to be healthier and inspire wellness in thier lives?).

Can you think of companies with a good visual, understandable and inspiring vision statement?

Tags: leadership, fun at work, inspiration, guest speaker, motivational speakers

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