10 Reasons Visioning Often Fails to Produce Results

We have all heard about the power of creating a vision and going for it, simply because as Zig Ziglar put it “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Several years ago, when the movie “The Secret” came out, my family and I were quite intrigued by the idea of the law of attraction and how it reinforced the notion that just the mere thought of a certain outcome, and dwelling on it as if it has already occurred, increases our chances of attracting it to ourselves.   

There are many organizations whose leaders either do not believe in the power of a vision or have no idea how to actually use this methodology to their advantage. Obviously, this represents a huge opportunity that is obvious to those of us who subscribe to the idea and have successfully employed this principle to produce extraordinary results. However, it is just as important to note that even the leaders who believe in the power of a vision or individuals who believe in the law of attraction fail to produce the kind of results they dream about. I am not suggesting that visioning doesn’t work, but I am clear that there are a number of reasons why a great number of visioning efforts fail. Here are the top ten reasons:  

1.    We create our vision on top of limiting beliefs. 
It is important to identify and deal with thoughts and beliefs that keep you from pursuing and achieving your vision. Otherwise, you will be trying to ignore them and sweep them under the rug and they will continue to sabotage you along the way. Your vision on top of your deep-rooted unbelief is like icing on a mud pie.  

2.    We wish we had a different starting point. 
Even when we are clear on where we want to go, we sometimes get bogged down and can’t seem to move forward because we wish the conditions for pursuing the vision would be more favorable. The key is not to have a perfect start, but to start where you are.

3.    We don’t embrace the feeling of having reached the vision. 
When the vision is all about numerical results and we don’t take the time to personalize it, we get fixated on doing things so that someday we have something, but we are not inspired by what the outcome and the journey make available to us in terms of our attitude and feelings.

4.    We keep it to ourselves. 
The power of a vision is multiplied exponentially when it is shared. The declaration of our vision is the key to generating conversations that perpetuate enthusiasm and accountability.

5.    We don’t revisit the vision often enough. 
Dwelling on the vision often and keeping it in front of ourselves helps us renew our minds and counteract our internal dialogue about the obstacles and our fears and worries.

6.    We form the vision on the basis of what we don’t want versus what we do want. 
A vision that is rooted in changing or fixing something is not nearly as inspiring as one that is formed on the basis of the outcome we would want if we were to create it from scratch.

7.    We hold on to old thought patterns or behaviors that don’t fit our new vision and path.  Often, our automatic responses and thought processes continue on until we make a conscious choice to alter them. When a new vision is formed, it behooves the leader and others to examine and adjust the old paradigms and approaches that are not conducive to making the vision a reality.  

8.    We don’t create a compelling enough reason to overcome our tendency to maintain the status quo and act boldly. 
If the vision does not offer the promise of an outcome that inspires us into action, we won’t have the inclination to make the emotional investment or take the social risks to bring it about.

9.    We try to chart the entire path instead of acting on what we know and letting the path unfold. 
One of the most common forces against rallying people around a vision is that we don’t know how to get there. When we try to satisfy everyone’s desire to be totally clear on the how to’s, we fail to act on what we already know.  

10.    We try to think our way into a new way of behaving rather than behaving our way into a new way of thinking. 
It is easy to talk ourselves out of taking action toward a stretching vision. Most of the time that is what our internal dialogue is all about.  When you act in the direction of the desired outcome while the internal dialogue is going on, you will find yourself shifting the quality of the internal dialogue.

I encourage you to examine your visioning efforts against these characteristics and make course corrections as you see fit to maximize the inherent power of creating a vision and having it guide you and/or your organization.