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by Randall Craig on November 17, 2009

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet

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I Have a Dream. Yes We Can. We Strive to Serve Our Stakeholder Groups.

While the first two of these might be familiar, why isn’t the third? The first of these was from Martin Luther King Jr, while the second was from President Barack Obama. The third – or some version of it – forms a part of the mission of most organizations. Check your organization’s mission statement for yourself, and you’ll see these words, or words like them, somewhere.

The first two statements are visionary. They call us to see beyond ourselves, and picture our connection to something bigger: to have faith. The third is a “Vision Statement”; ironically so called, as there is no vision whatsoever: it requires us to actually define it as a vision statement. Neither King nor Obama had to announce that their words were a vision statement, their words, by themselves, just were, and we knew it.

What makes the first two so powerful is that they connect strongly at an emotional level. What makes the corporate vision statement so powerless is the complete lack of emotional connection.

Those who are most successful have figured out how to synchronize their passion with their profession. The most successful organizations have figured out how to attract people whose personal visions synchronize with the corporate one. When both personal and corporate visions have an emotional connection there is electricity. When there is a disconnect, there is disengagement.

This week’s action item: What’s your vision? Is it dry and lifeless, or does it have meaning? Too often, our personal vision is borrowed from other people: our parents, teachers, friends, and managers. And it is thoroughly logical, devoid of an emotional connection. This week, spend some time dreaming, and write down your vision. (Yes – you can.)

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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