As I’ve grown as the leader of The Squad, things that previously had little meaning to me, now capture the majority of my focus. It’s quite the shift. I’m referring to our Core Values, Vision, and Mission (Core Focus). Our operating system is another. For many years I just thought, "We operate and that’s our system."
In the coming weeks, I’m gonna go deeper on my journey into how and why our Vision, Core Values, Core Focus, and EOS operating system not only became important but also the biggest part of my job daily here at The Squad.
Until recent years, vision was one of those things that had little meaning to me. I never understood the importance of vision. I believed that I was acting in the capacity of a visionary just from sheerly starting the business and cultivating the brand, however, vision wasn’t much in my mind beyond some good quotes.
Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. — Jonathan Swift
The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. — Helen Keller
Where there is no vision, the people perish. — Proverbs 29:18
Through business coaching, an EOS implementation, and a few more years of wisdom under my belt, I’ve come to realize just how important vision is to an organization.
Whether you’re leading a softball team, a business, a non-profit, or even your family, if you don’t have a shared vision it’s really hard to get anyone to follow along or buy-in.
I’ve found that having a vision that’s on paper is key. For years it was in my head. I see it when I look around at the team we’ve built, the office we just moved into, the partners we serve, and the culture we have. However, it’s not that useful if it’s all in one or two owners’ or leaders’ heads.
I’ve worked hard to sell people on the vision of who we are and where we’re going, but as you grow you don’t have as much time to spend with each person on the team, especially new ones. You have to trust that a common vision is documented and expressed so that the team you’re building knows where we’re going and can buy into the journey.
When you’re recruiting, people aren’t just interested in good compensation, benefits, and meaningful work. They want to buy into a vision. Is this a home for me?
When you’re serving clients or selling a product, people don’t just buy for now, but they want to buy into a vision. What’s coming next?
When you’re creating emerging leaders within your business, they want to see themselves in the future and buy into a vision. How can we grow alongside one another?
It’s the same thing for a group of parents and kids on a softball team or a soccer team. It’s the same thing for a group of volunteers who’ve organized themselves toward a common cause.
There needs to be a leader and the leader needs to express (with the help of other key stakeholders) where the group is heading by way of a vision. At The Squad, we go a step further and collect the ideas of everyone on our team as we’re shaping our vision and our goals.
The biggest breakthrough we’ve had in 2018 and 2019 is that we’ve chosen to document our vision in the EOS system. EOS is a business operating system that we found through a referral from Scott Diamond, CEO of Unified Technologies. Unified has leaned on EOS and in the process experienced scalable growth, making the Fast 50 list in Louisville for multiple years. We jumped in sideways last year and began our own journey with the help of an EOS integrator and our business coach.
Creating our VTO was one of the final steps of the Proven Process in EOS. We completed ours and presented it to our team on Friday, January 11 at our annual kickoff luncheon.
The VTO is the document we use to capture all aspects of our vision. It’s shared with our team for full transparency. Below are the items that make up the VTO:
We’re super excited to have completed ours and now the larger journey begins. Leading to it and adjusting it as we gain traction in the business, and from time to time, hit the ceiling - which is a normal part of a business cycle.
If you’re a business leader or owner who’s interested in topics like this, then stay tuned for one of our next posts about establishing Core Values.
P.S. If you’re a fellow EOS-run business, and you think we have some synergy in working together, then let’s connect. We’d love to learn about your business to see how we can help Tell Your Story and Grow Your Business.