Laying the Foundation for a Profitable 2015

If you have a Vision for your business, now is the time to take it down from the wall, and ask yourself whether it’s still valid. If you have been thinking about it and talking about it with your team during the year, you will are ready to tweak it ever so slightly to make it perfect.

If you don’t yet have a Vision, written out and known to all, then “just do it.” It’s that important. You’ll also be amazed at the effect a well-thought-through and articulated Vision can have in terms of aligning the activities and priorities of everyone on your team.

A Vision is a clear statement of what you want your business to become – the “Picture of Perfection” of how it could, or will be. The Vision Statement should be:
• A single sentence
• Understandable to a 12 year old, and
• Recallable at gunpoint

Mission Statement
If you think of your Vision as “where we want to arrive”, you can think of your Mission Statement as “the path you will use to attain your Vision”. It needs to be a clear promise to yourself, your team and your Customers about what products and services you will provide, and how you will provide them, to attain your Vision.

“Values” are the words or short phrases you use to answer the question, “What is most important to you in the context of “your business”, “your role in the business”, “your relationship with your children”, etc. As such values are “contextual” i.e., you may find yourself giving different answers for the values you hold dear in different contexts.

Defining your values defines the boundaries of your Mission Statement, the boundaries of the path you will follow to achieve your Vision. Values are the limits beyond which you will not go in pursuit of your Vision. For example, if one of your values is “safe workplace”, everyone in your business will understand that safety will not be sacrificed for profit.

When you are clear on your values, and when have shared those with your team, there is little need for a lot of rules since most “rules” can be inferred from applying your values. Habits that made JD Rockefeller rich were to:
• Have a small number of rules (values)
• Repeat yourself often
• Act in accordance with your rules


Difficult goals, when accepted, result in superior performance and the corollary to that is also true. Without challenging goals you will experience performance that is less than what is possible.

A moments reflection should convince you to allocate time right now to negotiating goals with yourself for your personal and professional journey; negotiating goals with each of your team members so that you create opportunities to praise and recognize – and occasionally, reward – them. Any person in your business who does not have two or three clear key performance indicators (KPIs) upon which they are focused, is under-performing, under-motivated, under-rewarded and under-recognized.

Now that you know that, I’m sure you’ll address any such oversight quickly.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

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© Rich Kohler 2014. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at

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