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Leadership

The Vision Tree

The vision tree helps to visualize the relationship between values, mission, purpose, specific goals and objectives and the results (the accomplishment of those goals and objectives). It is a holistic perception of the role each of these things plays in contribution to the vision.

ROOTS: CORE VALUES
Values are the often unwritten assumptions that guide our actions. Our values demonstrate our convictions, or our heartfelt beliefs, and they also determine our priorities. Values are based on principles that we hold dear and that will determine how we will operate in life. Values provide the foundation for our mission which is the basis for formulating goals and setting direction. If these values are not thought through then we can become directionless.

TRUNK: MISSION STATEMENT
Formed out of core values, a mission statement must be a real, living statement of what is practised and not vague aspirations or ideas. It must be formulated out of our circumstances and not be imposed from outside. It is formed by asking questions like:

  • Who is your target group?
  • What specific needs of this target group are you seeking to meet?
  • How will you seek to meet these needs?

 BRANCHES: PURPOSE
The branches of the tree clearly represent the three to five main streams where the mission is outworked. They define what is critical and allow other aspects to act in a supporting role.

LEAVES: GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Out of each main stream (each major branch) will flow specific goals, objectives and action steps.

 THE FRUIT: RESULTS
If there is health in every area of a tree—it is planted deep in nourishing soil with plenty of water and vital roots that go deep, a sturdy trunk reaching skyward, strong branches, and healthy green leaves—that tree will bear fruit. That tree will experience effective synergism—its end result (the tasty and delicious fruit) will be greater than the sum of its parts!

An important part of the process is defining what your fruit will be and how you will measure what the quantity and quality of fruit being borne by your tree will say about its health. You must develop your own set of vital signs or indicators of the state of your health—what are the indicators in people, finances or materials that measure your effectiveness? Make sure to build in a system to monitor the vital signs and make adjustments as necessary.

© Robert E. Logan and Larry Short. Adapted and used with permission.

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Colin Noyes

Colin Noyes is a Brisbane (Australia) based coach and consultant with extensive experience in the areas of organisational health and growth, change management, leadership development, recruiting/staff development and coaching. Read more

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