As we finish unpacking the 7th Fundamental: Cause and Purpose, I’d like to place a focus on the importance of a Vision Statement.
Where There is No Vision
Many of us have heard the scriptural adage, “Where there is no vision the people will perish.” I’d like to offer an interpretation of that scripture to mean when there is no hope for something better, it’s hard not to let life crush you. The ancient Greeks were known to say, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” It is at the intersection of these two statements where we find the basis for a truly visionary Vision Statement.
The Road Less Traveled
As we travel through life, it’s tempting to just allow life to happen to us – why not? Life is unpredictable, and some of the sweetest moments in life are spontaneous and unplanned. Sometimes those moments even become defining moments, propelling us forward and helping us realize our blessings truly come from outside of ourselves, and checking our pulse when it comes to what we think we can control.
Ultimately, however, leaving everything to chance can rob us of even greater blessings. Lacking vision is much like steering a ship without a rudder. We may eventually arrive at a destination, but was it the one we desired?
A Map for the Journey
Several years ago, my family and I drove from North Carolina to Yellowstone National Park. We meticulously planned every detail of the two-week trip. We talked about it constantly as the days led up to our departure. All the planning and anticipation created vision and hope for what the trip would be like.
The trip was incredible, and each member of our family will carry memories of that vacation the rest of our lives. But – the trip did not go totally as planned. In fact, one of the best memories we made was in an Old West replica town that wasn’t even on our agenda. And, one of the biggest disappointments of the trip was something we planned to the ‘T’ and drove out of our way to see.
Life is like that. Things won’t go as planned, and that’s a good thing. However, if we’d left for our trip with no plans or expectations, we would have had no picture in our minds of the dream of what could be.
A Vision Statement is much like an exciting trip agenda – it calls us forward, gives us hope on the tough days, and gives us focus on many days. It provides a picture of what could be – it gets us on the road. Often, the gestalt of the reality of a life well-lived is even better than we imagined.
It is not what the vision is, it is what the vision does.
In fact, that is one of my favorite quotes from Peter Senge. He wrote about how the secret sauce of a vision statement is not necessarily what is says but rather what it does in terms of calling you forth on the journey.
To give you an example, here are some excerpts from some of my personal vision statements:
Chris Comeaux fathered, loved, and shaped his children to live life in a purposeful, talented, and creative way to leave the world a better place for them having been here.
Chris Comeaux helped to shape and transform the way the future of healthcare is provided in the United States and later the world.
Chris Comeaux helped shape and impact thousands of leaders in various industries and impacted them to live to their full potential.
The world was a better place for Chris Comeaux having truly lived.
Your Personal Vision Statement
A life on purpose truly is the “road less traveled”, and our world needs more people living lives of purpose. I challenge you to write your vision statement(s) – take some time to go away by yourself and prayerfully and thoughtfully attempt to identify the vision for your unique and special life. Imagine a world full of people with a purposeful vision and map for their journey. Our organizations, families, communities, and world would be all the better for it.
Let the adventure begin.
Chris Comeaux, President / CEO of Teleios Collaborative Network
Teleios University (TU)
Program Launch: January 20-21, 2020
An organizational model that allows not-for-profit hospices (Members) to leverage best practices, achieve economies of scale and collaborate in ways that better prepare each agency to participate in emerging alternative payment models and advance their charitable missions.