By: Willie Chrans, CEO and Chairman of Avitus Group
Your Vision Is Your Company’s Path
What is your company’s vision? It’s your goals, your ideals, your road-map for the future. So, how do you create and communicate your vision?
Entrepreneurship is the act of transforming possibilities into realities. To do that, you need to focus your vision, you have to communicate it clearly and with passion, and you need to put the right people in place to implement the vision successfully.
Creating a Vision
Vision is your ability to recognize opportunities that exist for your company today and opportunities that exist for your company tomorrow. It can be anywhere from five minutes from now to five years from now and beyond.
I’ve always enjoyed looking out at the road ahead. Even as a child, I used to sit and think about the future. I didn’t realize at the time that I was visioning, I was just looking at where I would be as an adult. But when I look back now, I see that visioning is exactly what it was.
I always had a vision for myself, which evolved over time. In my 20s, I realized that I wanted to be in business, which narrowed my vision down somewhat. In my 30s and 40s, I dabbled in investments and owned several companies, which further narrowed it.
It was after some years of being in business and experiencing the stress of entrepreneurship that I began to see my final vision clearly. I was a frustrated business owner, and what caused my stress was the lack of knowledge about the business—where it had been and where it was going.
I was good at the 30,000-foot view, seeing potential in things and imagining what is possible in the future. However, I didn’t have a great handle on the ground-floor view—I only fully understood a portion of what it actually takes to run a business.
I started looking around for a company that could help me with the back-office obligations, but I couldn’t find one that offered all the services I needed. At that point, I realized I’d have to create it. I knew what small- to medium-sized businesses needed, and there was no question in my mind that there was a need because I, myself, needed it.
I remember telling my wife that there was unlimited opportunity for a company that could handle business administration for frustrated entrepreneurs. And I knew that if I ever got it off the ground, I probably wouldn’t live to see it reach its full potential.
My vision was clear.
Communicating Your Vision
If you’re creating a vision and new opportunities, people love that. They want challenges, opportunities to grow and a chance to be part of something bigger than themselves. If you offer them possibilities, they will generally get behind you. You just need to communicate your vision well enough.
At first, you have to work hard to communicate your vision because it’s still only an idea. Initially, people bought into my vision because of my absolute belief that there was a need for it and the passion I conveyed in conversation because of that belief. I knew for certain people needed it so I could speak with passion about it, and passion is contagious.
For me today, it’s much simpler because my vision is a reality in the form of Avitus Group, but I still have to convince people of new ideas all the time. And my success in doing that still depends heavily on my passion and personality.
If people within the organization appreciate who you are, and you can communicate an idea to them clearly, they’ll at least attempt to understand it. And a lot of times, they’ll support it because they believe in your leadership.
Implementing Your Vision
I always have new ideas popping up, and I love visioning. But implementing a vision is another matter altogether.
By the time I started Avitus Group, I already understood what I knew and what I didn’t know about running a business. I was similar to most other entrepreneurs, few of whom really know where they’ve been and where they want to go.
Brand-new enterprises rarely become what the entrepreneur envisioned. Entrepreneurs are optimistic, but they need well-grounded advice paired with that optimism. I was (and am still) no different.
Better people than me determine how we implement the vision. I communicate my vision clearly but do it in a way that’s less a step-by-step instructional and more of a pathway to follow.
Even today, this is still how it works for me. I live and breathe visioning, from the moment I get up to the moment I go to bed. I wake up in the middle of the night with ideas. As a matter of fact, in the 70s I carried a Dictaphone with me everywhere I went; these days I shoot off emails in the middle of the night.
But we still have to assess the vision to see if it’s viable.
- First, the vision has to be synergistic with what we’re already doing so I know it’s right for the company.
- Second, there has to be a need for it.
- Third, there has to be (or we can create) a desire for it.
If a new idea checks off those three boxes, we begin the implementation process. And while no visioning will wind up exactly as you thought at the beginning—it will take its turns—the end result will be similar to your original vision or at least achieve the same intent.
Your Vision Is Your Path
A vision is an idea. To turn any idea into a reality, you need to define it, communicate it clearly and figure out how to implement it (or hire good people who know how to implement it for you).
Without a clear vision, your company has no path to follow. You may turn left when you should turn right or right when you should turn left. A vision enables you to chart your path, establish milestones and set well-defined and attainable goals. In other words, your vision helps you realize your dream.
About Avitus Group
Avitus Group helps companies simplify, strengthen and grow their businesses by providing ‘back office’ support (payroll, accounting, taxes, recruiting, information technology, human resources and more). Since 1996, Avitus Group has served blue-, grey- and white-collar clients nationwide through regional office locations from coast to coast and international clients through partner locations. Avitus Group currently handles around 30,000 WSEs with average annual earnings of $35,000.
CEO and Chairman, Avitus Group
This article is part one of a five part guest author series on elements of leadership. We will release one article per week until the series is finished. Below is a list of the articles within the series.
Creating and Communicating Vision – written by Willis Chrans, Chairman and CEO of Avitus Group
Creating/Changing Company Culture – written by Sean McConnell, CEO of Modern Business Associates
Mergers & Acquisitions – written by Mike Maseda, former CEO of CoAdvantage and COO of ADP Totalsource
Leading Through an Acquisition – written by John W. Allen, President and COO of G&A Partners