April 15, 2019

Not Just a Wall Placard: How to Use Your Vision Every Day

Your vision. You struggle writing it word by word. When you finally get it right, you display it on your website, grants, and brochures. You refer to it when you work with your staff and board.

Vision is the fuel of your nonprofit engine. It’s your destination. It’s why you continue when the odds are against you. (See How to Write a Vision Statement.)

You already incorporate your vision into your work. How might you harness even more of its power?

  1. To Clarify Decisions

Use your vision as your top decision criteria. For instance, when you must decide, ask:

      • Given our vision, does this approach make sense?
      • Does activity A or B provide the most value in terms of our vision?
      • What is one activity we do now that has no vision impact?

Action: Need to decide? Consider the decision’s impact on your vision.

  1. To Align Efforts

Vision centers, organizes, and calms. In the light of vision, hassles, challenges, and setbacks become part of the scenery. Therefore, use your vision to center your board and staff. Remember it as you meet deadlines and extinguish fires.

Action: Begin and end your days, meetings, and conversations with vision. Tell a story. Thank those present for the opportunity to work together on the vision. Incorporate vision into your hello and goodbye.

  1. To Kill Procrastination

We know what to do, but we fail to do it. This is the Knowing-Doing Challenge. What smashes the challenge to bits? Inspiration. Where can you find it? Your vision.

Action: Identify 100 dreams for your job. That is, activities you’d love to do but never find time to squeeze into your days. Pick one. Break the activity down into fifteen-minute steps. Instead of checking social media once daily, work on a dream for fifteen minutes.

Your Added Value

Don’t let your vision’s power go down the drain. Use the tactics above to capture its energy.

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Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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