How is your vision? Do you ever feel like you’re running fast and hard, yet you’re not clear on where the finish line is? Does your team have a clear vision of what their personal as well as overall agency success looks like? A clear vision of success will help your team know where you want them to go.
It was Helen Keller who said, “The most pathetic person in the world is the person who has sight but no vision.” After being stricken with an illness as a child that left her deaf and blind, Helen Keller embraced a vision and mission for her life that people with her disability had never envisioned before. She not only went on to graduate with a college degree, but she also learned to speak and became a world-famous lecturer, author, and advocate for people with disabilities. Helen Keller may have lacked physical eyesight, but she wasn’t deficient when it came to having a far-reaching vision and a defined mission for her life.
At their core, successful people realize that before they set measurable goals and strategies to achieve those goals, they first need to define and envision their success. Let’s take a moment to review if you’re asking the right questions in order to define your agency vision.
What do you desire most for your agency?
Have you taken time to dream a little? Or do you find yourself caught up in the busyness of your business? Shift from a reactive lifestyle and proactively commit to bringing the change needed to set and pursue a new vision for greater success. Start by making time to answer this one question, not a list of ten questions, but just this one. In one sentence, what do you desire most for your agency? Before you can plan how to improve and grow, what positive change do you want to see?
What does agency success look like three months from now?
Sometimes defining success can seem unreachable because it feels too big or seems too far away. Envision a picture of your success in smaller increments of time. This will allow for the development of bite-sized goals, more immediate strategies, shorter timelines in which to measure improvements, and greater flexibility for the reassessment of plans when adjustments need to be made. You’ll have the opportunity to see and celebrate incremental growth while course correcting quicker when needed.
What are the primary obstacles preventing you and your team from achieving your vision and reaching your goals?
Identifying obstacles in your way is a vital part of developing your strategies and identifying needed skill development within your team to strengthen weaknesses. When we don’t take time to plan in advance for what we know in advance, our team is left unprepared on the battlefield. Predicting and analyzing problems followed by developing and role playing solutions to obstacles will help your team overcome them effectively. The alternative is to let your team ‘give it their best shot’ or ‘wing it’ as they face challenges.
What is your agency mission?
Our agency mission is… Complete this sentence to encapsulate your vision in a simple, easy to remember mission statement that is action-oriented and that you can regularly share and revisit with your staff. Simplicity is key. All of your goals and strategies to achieve them can be tested against this short and simple statement of purpose. If it doesn’t pass the test, get rid of it. If a new initiative doesn’t aid in staying on mission, it’s not a fit. If a team skill development opportunity won’t help achieve the mission, stop and reevaluate. Having a simple and easy to memorize mission will keep your vision clear.
How will your vision and agency mission lead to action?
Of course, vision must lead to action to be realized. Hoping for it to somehow come to fruition is not a strategy. If vision is your higher purpose, goals are the specific targets to achieve that answer the larger ‘why?’ of vision. Strategies are the specific actions taken to achieve your goals and skill development is the vital piece of training and coaching your team to execute strategies effectively and efficiently.
For example, if part of your vision was to set a standard of excellence among insurance agencies by exceeding customer expectations, one of your goals could be to establish a uniform and consistent sales and service process designed to deliver the best possible customer experience. Part of your strategy would be to develop, practice, and deliver specific sales and service phone call best practice scripts. To execute the strategy, you would need to prioritize your team’s skill development with written call scripts, role playing practice, and reviews for accountability and improvement.
To lead your team to achieve your Vision…
- Set and share your Vision regularly with your team informally and in meetings.
- Set and share Goals that are specific targets to achieve your Vision.
- Prepare and launch specific Strategies with your team to achieve your Goals.
- Prioritize Skill Development to empower your team to properly execute your Strategies.
Will you invest in change and growth?
Living things grow. My children are the perfect example. Each one of them continues to grow which is a vital, visible, and measurable marker of their health. If they stopped changing and developing, something would be very wrong and even unhealthy.
I meet and speak with many people who are unwilling to make a forward move toward greater health, growth, and opportunity for greater success. Of course there are growing pains, but that’s part of a healthy life! People often defer to excuses of pressures, time constraints, or a variety of projects that keep them busy, yet not as effective as they hope to be. Interestingly, they are also always able to tell me very quickly and specifically what their biggest challenges are! They know their pain points and they want help, yet they don’t have ‘time’ to tackle the obstacles right now. I sometimes feel like I’m standing with a weary friend with a glass of water that they will not drink to refresh themselves.
At Agency Performance Partners we’re here to help you dream, to help you to set achievable goals, to build practical, relational, and measurable proven strategies designed to achieve results. Take a step forward with a partner dedicated to your agency’s improved performance — whether it’s through a longer term commitment of training and consistent application of new skills through our AppX Sales or Retention programs, or to a shorter term approach, such as training and consulting hours spread out over a number of weeks or months.
Dare to dream.
Remember that all living and healthy things always grow and change.
Invest in the future that you dare to envision.
Refuse to fear change or obstacles.
You don’t need to lead the change alone.
T.E. Lawrence said, “All people dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to the day to find it was all vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people, for they may act out their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible…”
Envision your success, dream big, clarify your mission for your team’s success, and invest in your change and growth. Agency Performance Partners’ Agency Assessment is a perfect starting point for clarifying your vision, setting measurable goals, and implementing effective strategies to achieve your dreams. Call us today!