Vision without values

North GA MountainsI visited with a friend at his office one sunny day several months ago.   When I walked into his office on the 17th floor I saw a magnificent view of the rolling hills of north Georgia. The sea of green, the landscape, the wide horizon and the tall Georgia pines were all before me…it was a stunning view.

I asked him how far we could see that clear day and he said, “oh, maybe 25 miles or so”…

My friend told me that the beauty of the vista sometimes inspired within him a renewed purpose or vision. Then I noticed something else in his office. Sitting on the windowsill was a framed list of his company’s corporate values.  The values were things like humility, respect, excellence, honor, focus, courage, etc.

Then he said something very interesting to me.

He said, “The beauty of my office view is inspiring and does help me develop vision and ideas, but my real inspiration comes from the framed values here on the windowsill.”  In other words he was saying, “I can’t let my vision or plans overshadow my values.”

Vision is often stated as a “very clear picture of the future you or your organization want to create”.

But values go a level deeper.  Values are what motivate us and are the principles we hold most dear.  For example if “respecting others” is one of your values, you will be willing to delay or forfeit other things like time-lines in order to offer respect….and ‘respect’ will motivate your behavior.  It along with other values will act as guardrails that help you achieve your vision.

You can have all the grand vision and “big-idea” plans you want, but “how” you reach your vision of the future can vary widely depending on the values you cherish.  Without values, there is no clear sense of how the organization is to behave or what to prioritize….and the same is true for you and me.

  • Do you have a personal vision statement?
  • What “future” do you want to create?
  • Does your vision come from you alone or is God a part of your “vision-casting”?
  • What values do you hold most dear?
  • What values would you absolutely draw a line in the sand for…what values would you put above goals, time-lines, money, process or rewards?

I encourage you today to give thought to your values…what you hold dear….and to begin the process of identifying and living out that value system each day.  For more reading and articles on values you are welcome to visit my InnerComm website.


If you have 2 more minutes…..

…below are two Bible verses that speak to values that guide action.

Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV) Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Romans 5: 1-5  Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

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