Crafting A Personal Vision Statement

Info Graphics have been gaining in popularity as a simple visual to help communicate ideas. I have created a info graphic that outlines visually how to write a personal vision statement.

vision infographic

Writing things down is so important in life. For us men, how many times has our wives given us a task that we have quickly forgotten about because we failed to actually write it on the honey-do list? Big mistake! Most people think they don’t need to write things down because they have a great memory or it isn’t that important in the first place. I have learned that writing things down makes things a lot easier in life, especially the things that are important to my wife.

I have had the opportunity to attend many conferences during my adult life, in both the business world and also as a pastor. Nearly every one I’ve attended has dealt with vision, goals, etc., and all have made it a point that one of the keys to knowing where you are going is to write out your life/church vision or mission statement. In May of 2004, I attended Ken Davis’s “Dynamic Communication Workshop” in Colorado. There, I met Cheryl Dick, the director of operations for Chick-fil-A restaurants. As we exchanged business cards, I was pleasantly surprised to see Chick-fil-A’s corporate purpose statement on their business cards: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” It didn’t impress me that much that the fast food chain had a purpose statement printed on their business cards, as this is rather common. What did impress me, though, was that they had the audacity to start their statement with their purpose, “to glorify God,” Followed by their vision, “to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

The vision statement is what God wants you to do. What you are going to do next is work on the reasons for the vision to begin to take shape.

The Apple TextEdit App Icon – Crazy Ones

 

It is no secret that I am a Apple enthusiast.  I thought about labeling myself as an Apple evangelist, but I don’t go out and preach Mac to the masses. Apple has always been a company that focuses on creativity, which is not one of my stronger points, although I do see myself as a visionary thinker and leader. In Apple’s cadre of applications that comes installed on a Mac is the program TextEdit.  Text Edit is a simple text editor that can be used to type up basic notes and letters. I never paid much attention to the launch icon for this app, but noticed that there is writing on the icon, a note pad with a pen laid on top of the pad. The content of the writing is too small to be seen with the naked eye. I decided to find out what was written on the icon and the graphic above is my finding, a larger shot of the icon.

This is the copy from a commercial that Apple aired during the final episode of Seinfield and it was the only time it ever aired. I love the copy! You can be a “crazy one” that changes things. The copy describes what it means to be one of the “crazy ones, misfits, rebels and troublemakers.” Read on to find out my thoughts about the content of this icon.

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I Am No Longer Calling Myself A Christian

mS7sNRL3I7ptXHEoChristian. A very descriptive word within itself. It can stand alone on it’s on merits and paints a picture in the mind that varies from person to person. But, what does it mean? Who does it describe? Is it an accurate word to describe those who use it?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a Christian as “one who professes belief in Jesus as Christ and follows the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus; one who lives according to the teachings of Jesus.” Sounds pretty reasonable and correct. That is if you want a dictionary version. Don’t get me wrong, this is a definition that many Christians would work around to eventually and mutter robotically if they had to verbalize their faith.

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A Critique of T4T for Disciple Making

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Most churches today are searching for the next magic pill, the next great program or the pastor who seems to make it look easy as a way to grow their congregations. What they seem to neglect is the power of the Word of God and the Spirit of God to make an impact. Why do churches struggle with making disciples that make disciples? It’s not that hard. I want to introduce you to the beautifully simple method of making disciples that make disciples through a church planting movement that is happening around the world today in every continent on the planet.

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Questions Good Coaches Ask

A key part of the coaching process is asking questions. Avoid “courtroom” questions that require only a “yes” or “no” answer. Instead, ask open-ended questions that lead to reflection and solutions. Proper questions can enhance relationships and add value to others, especially when coupled with perceptive listening.

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What Happens When No One Is Watching The Farm?

Green Acres is the place to be, farm living is the life for me.

Remember that jingle from the TV series Green Acres? No? Google it. If you do, then you know this was cheesy sitcom about a city slicker and his wife who gave up the city to live on a farm and the results were always hilarious. Maybe you have heard the phrase this post is named after. It is pretty simple that when no one is watching the farm, the farm gets raided. The hen house will be raided by chicken hawks, weasels, and foxes. The pigs, cattle, and other livestock neglected will become starved. The crops will suffer and die. The phrase, “Who’s watching the farm,”  basically is one that points to someone has to be in charge and be the leader. When there is no leadership on the farm or in your organization, chaos breaks outs.

I want to give you six leadership keys that you need to implement to keep the farm from being unguarded. These keys assume you have a plan and the vision is defined and you know what work must be done.

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Your Core Values

Let’s be honest, everyone has different values they believe to be correct and true. What I am going to address is your core values – the things that define what we believe and hold dear to our hearts. These are the values that not only define what we believe, but also define who we are in the eyes of others. These values again, are vast in numbers and time and space does not allow for me to cover all of them. I do want to go over a few that I believe have a role in the crafting of your personal vision statement.

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The Passion Killers

Yesterday I wrote about what happens when we lose our passion and promised that today I would share some passion killers and how to get past them. You’ve fallen prey to one of the passion killers of life. I want you to use this as a checklist and ask, “Why have I got the blahs? Why have I lost my zest? Why am I not passionate like I used to be? Where have my expectations and enthusiasm gone for the Lord and everything else?” Chances are it’s one or more of these passion killers.

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You Need To Write A Vision Statement

Title Crafting

 

When you start talking about vision statements, the majority of people tend to think that those are for businesses, churches or other organizations. The question of why does a person need to have a vision statement seems to creep into the conversation. I want to spend very brief book real estate in answering that question. Several groups of people pop into mind when thinking about that question. Perhaps you are someone who is getting into mid-life like myself (I’ll be 53 this year) or maybe you are even further down the road. Personally, I want to finish well in the last season of life, which I hope is another thirty years! In order to do that I will need to answer questions like, “Where will I focus my time, energy and money? Or most importantly, “Who will I focus my time, experiences, money, and life on?”

It could be that you are young and just getting out of college or have already started a career and family. You need to answer the question, “What am I going to do with my life that matters?” You will need a vision that will move you forward to whatever answer you come up with to that question. The reality is, regardless of age, gender, race, or income, we all need to have a vision and can have a vision that will be life changing!

The Components Of A Vision Statement

I believe there are five components of a vision statement that need to be used in this process. Just to let you know that this is a step toward the finished statement and is not the finished statement. It may be long at first, but you will continue to refine it and shorten it in order to communicate it.

These five components will focus on:

Who is the vision statement is about? Is this a personal vision statement, one for a church or other NPO, or for a business? Answers the “whom” of the vision that has been called out.

What is the vision? What is it you feel led to accomplish? This is the dreaming stage or the “what if” of vision. What if you were able to do what it is you feel called or compelled to do? This might be the lengthy part, so do not feel you need to try to cram everything into one sentence, at least not now. When you are writing, always keep in the back of your mind where you are now and where you want to be – THIS IS KEY! Answers how will the vision be fleshed out?

How will you know you have accomplished the vision? Again, the vision will be words on paper until it is happening and has been or is in the process of being fulfilled. Answers what does the vision look like in action? How will the vision be lived out?

The Five Action Step Components:

Write Out Your Life Experiences.
What have you experienced in your family, your work, your education, and your relationships. These experiences will also include your failures and your successes.

Define Your Passion And Calling
How has God crafted you in the areas of personality, abilities, and spiritual gifts? You will want to identify areas of your life you see God working. What have you done or are doing that get the “juices” flowing that puts you in your sweet spot.

List At Least Five Core Life Values
You will lean on the core values that you have built into your reputation, character, and your most importantly, your life. These areas could include things such as honesty, hard work, family, spiritual health, physical health, recreation, and the list is endless. What is that you value and you build your life around?

Identify What Motivates Me.
There are reasons you do what you do and you need to put them down on paper for the sole purpose of checking your heart. Are your motives driven by money, acceptance, or fame? We must identify “why” of your drive and make sure it aligns with God’s Word and purpose for our life.

Make It Fifty Word or Less
The shorter your vision statement, the easier it will be to remember and to communicate. It should encapsulate the four previous components.
This is where you start writing. Writing down these components on paper and re-writing them several times until it captures exactly what you feel in your heart that you are called to do. This is not a finished or polished product. It is raw and it is you!

I have had the responsibility to draft, edit, and approve many vision statements for companies I have worked for in the marketplace and probably double that in the ministry world. As I was writing this, I began to ask myself several questions such as, “What makes a great vision statement great?” “Does it make sense?” “Does it communicate my heartbeat (if personal) or does it communicated the heartbeat of the organization?”

Turning Your Audience Into An Army

An audience and an army are two very different groups of people. It is pretty obvious that an audience sits, listens, and doesn’t engage. It’s not their responsibility or better yet, it’s not their duty. An army on the other hand is 180 degrees different than an audience. The differences are many, but it boils down to the army has skin in the game. In other words, they are not kicking the tires, they have bought the car. They are the committed. They have answered the call and they are ready, willing, and able to serve and in the case of a military army, they are willing to fight and die for the cause if need be.

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