I was at a conference this past week and one of the attendees, Michael Gibney (founder of Covenant Financial), got my attention with his notion of a 100-year vision. Sounds crazy, right?
Getting my head wrapped around this idea was not easy. In my daily routine I spend a lot of my energy helping our clients with strategies that, in the grand scheme of things, are fairly short-term. Many of our clients are dealing with marketplace conditions where the rate of change is constant, if not escalating—to them even the idea of a 3-to-5 year plan is starting to feel unattainable. Most people (and organizations) can’t even contemplate a 100-year vision—so one would think this concept is simply ludicrous.
But wouldn’t you know it… that crazy idea ended up drawing me in and it got me thinking.
I can’t help but notice that as a society we feel too busy to study the past and are so unsure of the future that we bail out on the whole idea of planning altogether. We erroneously fixate on the immediate and allow our mission, vision, values and plans to revolve around only the present. This thinking creates a disconnect between our day-to-day decisions and the long-term consequences of actions.
That is why a 100-Year vision is such a powerful concept. It forces you to think about your LEGACY.
It’s never too early to think about your legacy. Stephen Covey, in his famous (and one of my personal favourite books), 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says we should “start with the end in mind”. Covey was referring to your own funeral but the process is the same for the 100-year vision. It forces you to think about the impact you want your life, and work, to have. This mindset forces us to ask the hard questions:
- What would you want your company’s 100-year vision to look like?
- How will your company survive after you depart this world?
- What kind of impact will your company have on the world?
- What kind of impact will you have on those around you?
- How will your family, and future generations, develop and prosper?
A 100-year vision takes the focus off of you and places it onto others. And that’s God’s secret for success in this world.
Have a great day!