Without Vision A People Perish

Without Vision A People Perish

by John R. Stoker

When I was a boy growing up in Redlands, California, my father would often take me with him to view cultural events on summer evenings at the Redlands Bowl.  This outdoor venue was a wonderful place to view opera, plays, band concerts, and numerous famous singers.

One evening as we sat waiting for the performance to begin, my dad leaned over and asked me, “What do you think that means?” At the top of the proscenium were these words, “Without Vision A People Perish.”  Being only about 10 years old at the time, I contemplated the wisdom of this phrase and replied, “I guess it means that if you are blind, you can’t find your food, so then you die.”

He laughed out loud and said, “That’s pretty good! You’re right that if you can’t see what you need, you probably won’t find it.”

Having worked with a number of teams, I have often contemplated the impact vision has on increased motivation.  I was particularly fascinated with the Norton and Kaplan Study done in 2007.  These two Harvard researchers asked a myriad of employees if they knew how what they did at work impacted their organization’s strategy.  95% of those surveyed indicated that they did not know how their work contributed to the organization’s success.  Why is this the case?

Those employees surveyed most often chose leadership communication as the reason for the disconnection between themselves and understanding how their work impacted the organization.   Put another way, “fake talk” contributes to “fake work,” or workers, managers, and organizations achieving less than full potential.


I would submit that clearly identifying and articulating a vision not only increases employee motivation but also insures desired results.

Here are a number of strategies you might implement to increase individual and team success.

Identify Your Mission

It is imperative to know specifically what you want to achieve.  If you are not completely clear, then your lack of clarity is what will be communicated to your associates.  You need to know exactly what you want people to do.

Articulate the Vision

Once you know exactly the results you want to achieve, you need to convey that vision to each individual.  They need to understand specifically how what they are and will be doing will make the vision reality.

Identify Success

Each individual should have a clear understanding of what success looks like and what expectations will guide their performance.  Clarity is the key.

Encourage Initiative and Communication

There are far too many people who wait to be told what to do.  Why is that? Sometimes people are afraid to make a mistake. At other times individuals have worked very hard and then have received no recognition for their efforts. Still others may feel like what they do really doesn’t matter.

Once you have clearly established expectations and set parameters for performance encourage people to help you achieve those goals.  Invite them to take the initiative, ask questions, identify concerns or roadblocks, offer suggestions, and solicit your involvement if they need help or support.  Creating a culture of candor and learning goes a long way to increasing motivation and engagement.

Inspire Determination

Determination moves people forward to action.  Even when obstacles occur or priorities change, encourage people to persevere towards the goal.  Those who have a specific idea of what to do and the permission to move forward to achieve it will succeed.

Be Positive

We are often quick to criticize what people don’t do or what they do that we don’t like.  How would it change things if you said, “This is a great opportunity for you.  I know you can apply your expertise and experience to make this assignment a smashing success. I look forward to seeing the results.”

Who wouldn’t be lifted or inspired by such an expression of confidence by their leader?  Speaking in this way empowers a person to succeed. 

Celebrate Successes

Recognize individual and team effort in accomplishing superior results.  We repeat behavior that is reinforced.  Taking the time to recognize performance and its impact says, “I noticed you and what you did.” We often fail to realize that recognizing smaller successes lead to much larger future success.

Having a clear vision, communicating that vision to each individual effectively, inviting their help, and recognizing their contributions will increase your team’s motivation, productivity, and results.  Your vision will no longer be just a vision, but reality.

View Comments

Join the Conversation

Name *
Email *

What people are saying

nike air max pas cher | September 26, 2014 | REPLY
Usually I am just simply going to nike air max pas cher http://www.ulka.fr/Common/nikeairmax1/ apply it to nike air max pas cher http://www.ulka.fr/Common/nikeairmax1/ get composing article anyhow, you can find certainly business offs however I am going to nike air max pas cher http://www.ulka.fr/Common/nikeairmax1/ nevertheless be investing in it. Price is the most challenging to nike air max pas cher http://www.ulka.fr/Common/nikeairmax1/ agree to nike air max pas cher http://www.ulka.fr/Common/nikeairmax1/ for me. <br />. -= Tini | Inzone Internet's continue website... Precisely why My spouse and i KeywordLuv =-.
cheap mulberry handbags | September 26, 2014 | REPLY
Many thanks Donnie! We certainly agree with the actual hito cheap mulberry handbags http://www.devonsunyarns.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/temp.php information. Well-formed keywords as well as grammar should still be an element of any kind of website for your explanations a person note, although hopefully people find out certainly not focus on them to cheap mulberry handbags http://www.devonsunyarns.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/temp.phpwards the shunning regarding additional SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION advancements.
nike air max 90 | September 26, 2014 | REPLY
for being apply, have already been permitted to nike air max 90 http://www.huntingtonestate.com.au/custom.html evade using gradually does not this point (low bandwidth capitals, Serious Bundle Assessment, bandwidth throttling and insurers usually are significantly purchasing high priced as well as fungible programs that will assimilate heavy bundle assessment technologies. to nike air max 90 http://www.huntingtonestate.com.au/custom.html balanced out products charges, these same providers tend to nike air max 90 http://www.huntingtonestate.com.au/custom.html be inspired to nike air max 90 http://www.huntingtonestate.com.au/custom.html utilize their own fungible devices in order to nike air max 90 http://www.huntingtonestate.com.au/custom.html Is in reality an outstanding as well as beneficial piece of information. Therefore i'm satisfied that you can shared this particular beneficial facts around. Make sure you be you current like this. Many thanks expressing.
nike free run cheap | September 26, 2014 | REPLY
Interesting point of view. Wondering what you think of its implication on society as a whole though? People obviously get frustrated when it begins to affect them locally. I will be back soon and follow up with a response. nike free run cheap http://www.e-facto.com/vote1.asp?do=nike-free-run-cheap
mulberry double zip tote red | September 27, 2014 | REPLY
Hermes Birkin has been named after the famous British actor and singer, Jane Birkin, which is the one big reason behind the prosperity of the brand. Today Hermes Birkin bags occupy a very significant position in the fashion handbag world, Hermes Birkin bags are desired by almost every famous or rich lady. All Hermes birkin handbags are completely manufactured. After 3 months hard work, one Hermes Birkin bag can be sent to who have waiting her for at least 6 months, usually much longer. And the final product is so fantastic that no woman can take her eyes off. Even so, one may be surprised as soon as she sees the high price of it. The answer lies in the material used are skins of crocodile, ostrich, calf and lizard. Moreover, there are some precious stones embedded to the metallic hardware, which again add to the cost. mulberry double zip tote red http://www.goodwaywithus.co.kr/mulberry-double-zip-tote-red.html
ysl clutch bag selfridges | September 27, 2014 | REPLY
"The early couture pieces are rare," agrees vintage dealer Cameron Silver of Decades. "I don't see a lot of couture Mondrian dresses floating around, sadly." With stylish A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow, Chloë Sevigny, Kristin Davis and Rachel Griffiths known for their love of early YSL, Silver predicts to see even more of it on the red carpet, in particular pieces from the less elite Rive Gauche line, despite the fact that the most recent treasure trove to come to light was almost three years ago following socialite clotheshorse Nan Kempner's 2005 death. ysl clutch bag selfridges http://www.stadtwaldhaus.de/bild_gs5.htm
piumini woolrich scontati | September 27, 2014 | REPLY
Recupero delle tossicodipendenze deve iniziare il pi霉 presto possibile. Il pi霉 profondo la dipendenza viene radicata, tanto pi霉 difficile diventa per il tossicodipendente di recuperare. Il primo passo verso il trattamento non 猫 l'eliminazione selettiva, ma per accettarli come persone a dis agio, e li trattano con cura e compassione. piumini woolrich scontati http://www.premiomultietnicita.it/it/piumini-woolrich-scontati.html
vivienne westwood tartan bag | September 28, 2014 | REPLY
A black and white-checked mini-corset bared the midriff, atop a vast red taffeta crinoline; and a 'prairie girl' gown, in tobacco, was finished with a studded leather belt which trailed down the back. vivienne westwood tartan bag http://www.colecovision.dk/images/vivienne-westwood-asos.html
Chanel Leder Handtaschen Schokolade | September 28, 2014 | REPLY
Sofern Sie eine riesige Marktdurchdringung haben, werden Sie nie ein Verm枚gen machen nur befriedigen Bed眉rfnisse. Finden Sie einen anderen Markt, wenn Sie einen hohen Lebens Lebensstil wollen! Chanel Leder Handtaschen Schokolade http://www.skoupy.net/chanel/chanel-leder-handtaschen-schokolade-p-74.html
ugg mini | September 30, 2014 | REPLY
Docente universitario presso la Columbia University 猫 considerata una delle migliori scuole per la formazione degli insegnanti in quasi. ugg mini http://www.domiciliazionepalermo.it/it/ugg-mini.html
ugg sizes | September 30, 2014 | REPLY
Aiutare un adolescente organizzarsi non 猫 cos矛 difficile come si potrebbe pensare. Il primo passo 猫 quello di rompere il ghiaccio della resistenza. Quindi, aiutare l'adolescente a creare una pianificazione per eseguire le operazioni specifiche, facendo attenzione a ricordare o lode, se necessario. Quando l'adolescente incontra sfide, parlare attraverso i passaggi necessari per aiutarli, consiglia Ronelle Browning del Bainbridge Island College District.Al forno Petto di pollo disossato ugg sizes http://www.manuacconciature.it/it/ugg-sizes.html
woolrich parka df | September 30, 2014 | REPLY
Questo 猫 il tipo pi霉 comune di bambini con ADHD. Essi agiscono senza pensare alle conseguenze delle loro azioni. Essi vedono alcun pericolo, ha la capacit脿 di prevedere la prossima cosa che accadr脿 e pi霉 spesso entusiasmante questioni che magia pericolo. woolrich parka df http://www.premiomultietnicita.it/it/woolrich-parka-df.html