A vision statement serves as the anchor of any institution. Aside from expressing your aspirations and dreams for your company, it also provides the framework for all strategic planning. Ultimately it answers the question, “where do we want to go?”
Vision statements are crafted to serve as inspiration and a guide for you and the other members of your institution. A good vision statement is so important because it will help set the direction of your business. It’ll have a huge influence on your decision making process and the way you allocate resources.
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10 Great Vision Statement Examples
Articulating a powerful vision is one of the hallmarks of a strong business leader. So what makes a vision statement great? Let’s take a look at some of the most creative and inspirational vision statement examples:
1. “To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.” – Southwest Air
Joseph Braithwaite, Governance Consulting
The essence of a vision statement should be able to be captured in a couple of compelling sentences. Those sentences need to, as John Kotter defines it, be imaginable, desirable, feasible, focused, flexible and communicable. Ensuring you have all of these elements within the vision ensures it doesn’t become just another cliché for the organization. Southwest Air’s vision aligns with their mission of ‘dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit’.
3. “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)” – Nike
Barbara Farfan, The Balance
Nike’s goal is to inspire you whether you’re Tom Brady, a hobbyist sprinter or just want to wear its gear as you go about your daily errands.
4. “To be a nerd for all your needs.” – Nerdster
Trent Silver, CEO, Nerdster
I can say this is an excellent vision statement because of its catchy ring. While the substance of the statement is the priority, a vision statement can often only be as successful as it is pleasing to the ear. “A nerd for all your needs” has a pleasant ring to it and is memorable.
6. “To be the fastest growing, most rewarding and most transformative leadership community.” – Mandala Leaders
Nick Bradley, Founder, Mandala Leaders
I run Mandala Leaders and one of the key processes we teach business leaders is how to have a clear, engaging and inspiring purpose, strategy and vision. I believe vision statements should be big, bold and engaging and be simple enough for all employees and customers to remember and live by. Everyone involved in the company should also live by the mantra and that customers see, feel and experience this too.
This is a great vision statement for a variety of reasons. It’s simple, clear, compelling, and easy to understand. Had McDonald’s stopped at “to be the best quick service restaurant experience,” it wouldn’t have been a good vision statement because it would’ve been generic and ambiguous. Adding an explanation of what it means to be the best sets a clear tone for employees about what is expected.
It’s also realistic and achievable. Your vision statement should motivate and inspire; if it’s not realistic or achievable, it will do neither.
And, finally, it allows McDonald’s employees to evaluate what they’re doing to ensure it aligns with the vision. They can ask themselves, “Will what I’m doing make the customer smile?” If your statement doesn’t guide employees in this way, then it’s probably too soft and not clear, specific, relevant, or meaningful.
Anago realized their growth isn’t driven just by sales figures, but by teaching other business owners (in their case, Master Franchisees) how to coach other entrepreneurs (in their case the Unit Franchisees) about independent business ownership and all the comes with operating their own company.
10. “To be the place that people go to when they want to watch any TV show or movie.” – Reelgood
David Burhenne-Sanderson,CEO, Reelgood
Great vision statements stretch you — if you’re not a little bit afraid of your vision, then it’s not big enough.
What Makes an Effective Vision Statement?
There are certain characteristics that good vision statements, including the vision statement examples above, have in common. Here are a few traits that can help you evaluate your current vision statement and/or help you create a new one.
- Future Focused. Provides the “big picture” and clearly describes what your organization will be like in several years.
- Directional. Serves as guide to organizational plans and strategies.
- Specific. Clear and focused enough to shape decision-making.
- Relevant and Purpose-Driven. Reflects the company’s response to the challenges of the day.
- Values-Based. Implies the set of values that are required to support the organization.
- Challenging. Inspires members of the organization to do great things and achieve a higher level of standards.
- Unique and Memorable. Highlights what makes the organization different and why it matters.
- Inspiring. Appealing and engages people to commit to a cause.
Bottom Line: Vision Statement Examples
When it’s time for you to write your own vision statement, give it your best shot! Don’t worry about trying to make it perfect the first time. Begin a conversation with yourself and try to envision how you want your business to be, in terms of growth, values, contributions to society, employees, etc. List down the strongest words you can think of – words that trigger emotions for you. This will inspire and help you craft your company’s vision statement.
Once you have defined your vision, you can start devising strategies to move your organization toward that vision.
If you are looking to start a new business and need some advice, check out the starting a business section of our website.