We've talked about values, now let's talk vision!
I've learned from experience that confusion and frustration will reign without a vision that is consistent, clear, and most of all, compelling. Think of it this way, when I need my 6-year-old to do something — he needs to understand "why," and he'll ask "why" until he gets a compelling reason. But, of course, it's never as easy as "because I said so," and to be frank, that's not the best way to build trust or confidence with him. I know you won't be leading a group of 6-year-olds** at work, but the underlying premise is the same: create and share a consistent, clear, and compelling vision.
Now you may be asking: Why does vision matter? Aren't sales goals enough? Consider this: How are teams supposed to align without a clearly defined vision? How do they strategize or work together? How do they know what problems to solve? How do you keep everyone on the same page? How do you keep a group of people excited about what they are doing? How do you measure progress if you can't do any of the above?
Answer: You don't! You burn money, time, patience, lose ground to competitors, and you won't hit those pesky financial goals we measure against! Even worse, if you can't define what progress looks like, your team will lose confidence, and indifference will set it. Once that happens, innovation and engagement will tank, as will the results. People will leave. Morale will decline. Back to sales goals for a moment: sales goals are one of many types of milestones teams will hit as they move towards the larger vision.
So what do you do if there isn't a vision? RUN!!! Seriously, if your team is not interested in putting together a vision, find somewhere else to work. A lack of interest in this area is a massive red flag, and you'll experience a lot of pain. This pain will come in many forms, such as misalignment across teams, blurred lines of ownership, and worst of all — unjustifiable performance evaluations. How can you be evaluated failry if you're constantly guessing what the target is? You can't, and it's improper to go through a performance evaluation under these circumstances.
A vision reflects a company's culture. It energizes teams and sets the pace for the organization as a whole. Find somewhere that has a clear and compelling vision, and you'll find an organization that values hard-working people. **Pay teachers more!!!
This pic is after I had to explain to my son why it benefitted him to run an errand with me. I had to sell him on going to the park! :)