That Vision Thing

Big Red Car here and here is the ATX.  If you are in Austin today you know it is 70F, no humidity and a certain Mediterranean quality to the sunlight out there.  And, there is a lot of sunlight.

It is also Cinco de Mayo — a big celebration down here in the former colony of Mexico.

That Vision Thang

So, The Boss is working with a couple of his CEO clients on “that vision thing” — made famous by President George HW Bush in 1987 in Time magazine.  President Bush was struggling with that vision thing himself.

So, here is the secret of it all:  for a startup or small/medium business the vision thing is the driver, the wellspring of the enterprise’s energy, the inspiration of the founder.  It is the reason why the entrepreneur does what he does.

You have to be able to articulate it.  Somehow.  And, it is really easy to do.  You just have to take a stab at it and do it.

A couple of The Boss’s CEOs — whip smart, wicked clever chaps — are getting a bit of writer’s block trying to get it on paper.  They have it in their head but they cannot get it to their tongue and onto paper.


The Vision Statement is the first step on the Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values, Culture Road Trip.

The founder owns the first couple of steps on this journey.

Once this is done, then the Mission Statement is less intimidating.  It all falls into place smoothly and without any muss.

These fundamental building blocks are the essential first steps on the road to building your company’s culture.


So, the Big Red Car is going to take a stab at a couple of Vision Statements [hmmm, maybe they get writer’s block when I put it in caps — nah, says the Big Red Car].

Here is one for a retailer.

By the end of 2016, ABC Company, through its cutting edge ecommerce platform, will become the acknowledged leader and dominant brand in the XXXXXX industry, a category killer with over $500MM in annual revenue and a 10% net profit margin.

See, that’s not too bad, right?

It is time constrained.  It lays out the fact that this is an ecommerce platform play.  It sets up a fairly bold yardstick for revenues and profits.

The founder who spit out this Vision Statement has set out a bold statement.  Well played.  [Of course, it was written by the Big Red Car.]  If the Big Red Car worked with or for this founder, BRC would know how the cow is going to eat the cabbage, no?

By the end of 2017, ABC Company, through its cutting edge SaaS cloud based software service, will become a substantial force in the XXXXXX industry with a stable base of the highest quality clients and $25MM in recurring annual revenue with a 20% net profit margin.

A bit different twist on things as the second vision does not envision becoming the dominant brand.  Note also that the margins are different and consistent with the differences in those two different industries — retail v SaaS.

Next steps

What you can also see is that the next step — the Mission Statement — flows more effortlessly from this foundation.  If you know and understand the Vision of the founder, it is much easier to create the Mission Statement which begins to take the vision, hypothesis, idea and transform it into action.

This is how these things link together and how you can get started on the Road Trip to creating your company and its unique culture.

Good luck.  Good hunting.

But, hey, what the Hell do I know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car.