I am an idealist. Early in my advertising career I had a vision of what the perfect advertising agency looked like. The vision was so clear that on the eve of my 40th birthday I made a commitment to myself to start my own agency, and bring that vision to life. By the spring of 2016 I left my job, established The Weaponry as a legal entity, and I was on a vision quest, like Matthew Modine.
As I stared the business I also began writing The Perfect Agency Project blog. My goal was to chronicle the entire experience here. I wanted to share the challenges, learnings and progress along the way.
My hope was that readers could follow my story and gain insights, information and encouragement to start their own business, personal adventure, blog or Ponzi Scheme.
Sharing The Vision
Today, I re-share my vision for The Weaponry in a team meeting every Friday afternoon. We call it our Rocks Meeting. It is part of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) that we use to run our business. The system is introduced in the book Traction by Gino Wickman. If your organization needs help gaining traction towards its goals, I highly recommend both the book and the system. I also recommend progress in general. Progress is good. It’s my favorite type of gress.
At the beginning of each of our Friday Rocks meetings I restate my vision of the fully- formed version of The Weaponry. This includes annual revenue, number of employees, number of offices, the type of work we do and the type of clients we work with. I then say that we are meeting today to help close the gap between the ideal, fully-formed version of The Weaponry and where we are today. I do this each week because I want our team to know exactly what we are trying to create together.
I Once Was Lost
I have been part of Whitesnake businesses, where I didn’t know where we were going (but I sure know where we’ve been). There was no shared vision. We didn’t go on a mission. We just went to work. Which meant that when new programs and policies were introduced, they didn’t feel like they were part of a larger purpose. Therefore, the team did not embrace them as if they were mission critical.
Last Friday something interesting happened as I restated the long term vision for The Weaponry. I was listing the numbers we were after, and I noticed one of the women on our team stating them right along with me. Like the way you mouth the words to a song that you know by heart. You can’t help but sing along because you know all the lyrics so well. #OhMickeyYoureSoFine
I knew in that moment that the vision of what we are working to create is being clearly shared, being heard and being internalized.
Using The Vision
When making a decision about a new hire, a policy update or an expense, I always look to the future. I ask myself WWTFFWD? Which of course means What Would The Fully Formed Weaponry Do? I encourage my team to bring challenges and requests viewed through the WWTFFWD lens. Whenever financially possible, we try to make decisions in line with our future state, rather than our current state. Because the best way to bring your vision to life is to act like you are already there.
If you want to start breaking records you have to sound like a broken record. Share your vision of the future early and often. Because when others can envision your ideal they can also help you create it. This is true of organizations, products, services and relationships. Others will help you get where you already know you are going. And you are sure to get there faster with a little help from your friends.
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