Vision Vs Execution.  What is the difference?

Vision is great. In fact, it is the starting point for all big things to come. But vision means very little unless executed.

What this means is that it is great to have a plan but simply having a plan cannot get things done. It hardly even acts as a catalyst anymore. Take the very common example of trying to lose weight. You know you need to work hard and put in a certain amount of effort to shed off the extra pounds.

If you fail to lose weight on a diet, then is the diet the problem or is it because you didn’t follow through consistently? The vision was to lose weight and the execution required you to invest time, effort and a lot of will power into the process. Were you able to deliver?

The effort threshold

Going by this working title, let us assume that every goal demands a minimum work threshold. If you do not invest at least a certain amount of effort, you won’t get results. Based on the nature of the goal, the effort required may vary but the rule remains that you need to be engaged in following thorough.

Once again, vision needs execution to deliver results.

Defining vision

A vision for personal goals could be for anything ranging from improving your health, mastering a culinary skill, becoming a better person or even becoming more sociable when in company. In fact, it could be anything that empowers you as a person or makes you feel like an achiever.

Defining execution

If vision defines your goals then execution gets you to those goals. The success of any individual or business organization relies on its potential to convert a plan into reality. People who follow through putting their plan into action with a solid strategy often achieve those goals. Businesses that take on a logical and disciplined approach to doing things use many different techniques to convert their ideas into outcomes.

Bringing the two together

In essence, vision is only the big idea behind every good or great plan. What it needs for it to have an effect is a strategy, by which it can be implemented. Now strategy is what you will follow to achieve that big idea.

By comparison, vision is a where and what while strategy is a how. Both vision and strategy are indispensable and missing either leaves you without direction and the capability to manage effectively.

Once you have a vision and strategy in place, the next step is communicating your idea and implementation plan to others. It is only when the plan is communicated to others that it can be effectively followed and executed. This holds true wherever a team is involved. You may be a gym teacher, a health guru, a motivational speaker or a businessman, you need to communicate your ideas well.

Once your vision has been communicated to others, it is time to take some action. And it is not only you that needs to act alone, but everyone on the team needs to do so too.

Let’s say that everyone involved in a project decides to act. So what’s next? This is important as it involves going back and reviewing whatever you have done so far. Successful individuals and organizations keep a close tab on the progress being made and how much work still remains. So, reviewing not only helps you with assessing progress but also charting the way forward.

It also ties in to accountability where you not only hold yourself but also your co-workers, colleagues, students or employees accountable to your vision and the actions that anyone has taken to get there. Accountability also paves the way for corrective action, if required.

If you can get through all these guidelines, then you have successfully executed your vision and no longer have an execution problem. However, the process is not as basic or simple as described here. After all, this entire book is dedicated to the power of execution so there is lots more to come.

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