Looking into the future and thinking about what might happen is a scary proposition for many people. Some look to the future with excitement and anticipation. The difference between these two feelings often comes down to the degree to which the individual has planned for the future.
A simple tool to help you plan for the future is a vision statement. Last night I attended a PMCNW meeting in Seattle where Carol Vecchio from CenterPoint spoke about taking control of your career. She led the group through a process of creating an individual vision statement. It was a revealing exercise. To create an inspiring vision statement you need to:
- Visualize success: If you want to succeed you need to see yourself doing the things that meet your definition of success.
- Write in present tense: Describe the vision you have for yourself as if you are living it today. This helps you to envision the outcome.
- Inspire yourself: Picture yourself doing something you truly love, then write in in a way that will inspire you to pursue your dream. Don’t let fear stop you from achieving what will truly make you happy.
Creating a vision statement takes time and effort, both of which will pay off as you move forward with anticipation for what lies ahead.
The Product Management Perspective: As the product manager, you own the vision for the success of your product(s). Your leadership will, to a large degree, determine whether your product team looks forward with fear or excitement. Your ability to inspire your team will improve significantly when you have a clear vision of where you are headed. Create and use your vision statement as a tool to strengthen your leadership.