Vision. A future reality not yet manifest. What do you see and want your distant future to look like? You cannot yet know how to get there; you just know it’s where you want to be. You may never fully get there, but your path toward that ideal place will bring out the very best in you; and it will help keep you focused and purposeful in your strategic thinking.
Values. Your non-negotiable beliefs, defined by your consistent behavior over time. Those beliefs may or may not correspond to the nice sounding words on wall plaques in your lobby and published in your handbook and your promotional literature.
Values-driven leadership: The art of transforming your beliefs into methodologies; methodologies that make results measurable and people accountable. It removes the double standards of favoritism and inconsistency and creates a level playing field for everyone’s conduct. It is a behavioral charter where everyone is held to the same standard – without exception.
Culture. The aggregate sum of how and why you do what you do as an organization. Your values turned inward define your culture; turned outward they define your brand. The health of your culture and its alignment with your purpose is perhaps the single most significant element in measuring how effectively you deploy your resources and how well you perform both quantitatively (profits and return on investment) and qualitatively (being able to attract and retain the best and the brightest and providing the most fulfilling work experiences possible). A dysfunctional culture – one that is out of sync with achieving your goals – is toxic. No amount of false pride in obsolete traditions can change that.
Strategy. The goals and objectives you create to put the rubber of execution on the road to measurable growth and success. Your strategies might be aimed at internal goals (improved productivity, the introduction of new technology, or more effective training) or external goals (increased sales, market share or the introduction of new products). To achieve optimum success, they must all be aligned with your vision, your values, your culture and your purpose. And they must factor in the element of scalability to ensure that you don’t grow beyond your ability to maintain the quality of these six fundamental points of connection.
Your greater purpose.The reason you exist, and the essence of your relevance. If you’re only here for the quick buck, you are in constant danger of extinction. If you’re only here for the instant gratification you get from the material “stuff” you can amass, you will never find fulfillment. Healthy financial results are an important piece of the picture of success in our free enterprise world. But the greater purpose of that element of financial success is to provide the resources for continued growth and for your ability to make a positive and relevant difference in the world – and to help keep you on the path to your ultimate vision of that transformative future reality. It is the spark that makes people eager to get up in the morning and show up fully engaged – brain, body, and especially soul.