Step 1 – purpose

Last week we gave some tips on making sure you recruit the right person for your business. Over the next few weeks we talk about your company vision, mission and purpose.

As a business leader, you need to have a clear vision in regard to the positive impact you want to make. A vision formulates the difference you hope to make, and articulates what you wish to change. It gives you and your people a reason to jump out of bed in the morning, and a direction to follow. Having a clear vision is a strategic competence that you should build up or improve in order to start and lead a great company. Here is the first step, getting to know your vision.

  1. Get to know your vision

In most cases, you might have a general idea about a desirable outcome that your company would create. You founded a law firm in Preston because you believe in making sure justice prevails. You are on the right track but there is much more to do. If you do not yet have a clear idea, there are steps you can take to get to your vision.

You need an ultimate goal for your company’s existence. You need a dream. One important thing to remember is that you should not be afraid to dream big. Allow yourself to think about ideas that may not seem likely. Adopt a future mindset and think about what you can do, and what is possible to achieve. Here is an exercise for you to get to your dream – your ultimate goal.

Let’s come back to your law firm. You should start imagine how you would like to see how the legal system looks in 10 years. Write down your ideas. Don’t worry if some of them sound unrealistic. Just keep writing. Use bullet points or mind mapping or whatever tool that helps you get everything in your head out on paper. Don’t let your judgement or a practical mindset get on your way at this step. You can start by answering some questions, such as:

In 2025, how will the UK legal system look? Will it have got better? Will it protect the rights of law-abiding citizens? Will it have the ability to prosecute those who do wrong? Will it put its arms around the most vulnerable in society?

You can also make up your own questions. The questioning step is to help you come up with as many ideas as possible. After laying out all the ideas, you can sift through them and pick out what is most important to you. This is the clarifying step to figure out your purpose. What would be the one defining your company’s existence? What would be the sole purpose of your days, weeks, and years of work?

Let’s look at Virgin Group as a real-life example. The group operates in many industries including aviation, telecommunications, banking and space tourism. All businesses under Virgin Group however share a common purpose: to enhance people’s lives.

Once you know your purpose, you need a direction. You need to answer the question: Where are we heading to? With your law firm, do you want to change the life of honest everyday people or do you want to focus on defending those who are subject to litigation only? Do you see the improved future in 10 years or in 20 years? You need a deadline for your dream. You need a milestone to aim for.

Come back next week for step 2.