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Jesse Lyn Stoner


Test Your Vision: A Resource for Leaders

‘A real vision is lived, not framed.’

Published: Monday, October 7, 2019 - 12:02

Have you created a vision? You might be excited about it, but are others? Does your vision inspire, motivate, and guide decision making?

It’s better to test your vision now than to find out later that it’s simply a wall decoration.

And if you already created a vision a while ago, it’s still important to find out if people understand and buy into it.

Over the years, working with countless leaders and organizations on creating a shared vision, we have learned that a useless vision statement is actually worse than having none at all.

Leaders lose credibility when they put out a vision statement that is boring, vague, or worse, turns people off.

So even if you are clear about your vision, don’t assume others are as well. Ideally you have involved people in the process of creating it, and it reflects their hopes and dreams and incorporates their good thinking. Even so, you need to test your vision to see if you have accurately captured their input.

Note: You are welcome to duplicate and share the 20/20 Vision Test and the Scoring and Interpretation Key as long as you include the authorship.

20/20 Vision Test

by Jesse Lyn Stoner and Ken Blanchard

Directions: To what extent are each of these statements true? Use the rating scale at the bottom of the list of statements.

1. Everyone shares the same vision.

2. The vision is exciting, inspiring and motivating.

3. The vision helps us understand what business we are in, our purpose.

4. The vision provides direction and a clear picture of what we intend to accomplish.

5. We have clearly stated values that guide important decisions.

6. We hold each other accountable for behaving consistently with our values.

7. Our vision helps us identify priorities.

8. We discuss the big picture and how daily activities support our vision.

9. Everyone is deeply committed to achieving the vision.

10. Each individual can see how they personally contribute to achieving the vision.

Rating scale: Rate each of the above statements with the scale below.

1. = Rarely
2. = Occasionally
3. = Sometimes
4. = Usually
5. = Almost always

20/20 Vision Test Scoring and Interpretation Key

by Jesse Lyn Stoner and Ken Blanchard

Directions: Add the rating for each statement to obtain a total score.

Total score 45–50 = MOBILIZED
You have created a compelling vision that is energizing, provides focus and sets direction. You are clear about where you are going and what values guide your journey. Check it out and make sure others are as clear and as excited as you think they are.

Total score 39–44 = FORMING
You have the beginnings of a powerful vision but there is more work to be done. You need more clarity, more excitement and/or engagement of others. Keep working on getting people aligned around the vision and you will see an energized and focused workforce emerge.

Total score 30–38 = TYPICAL
You live in a typical organization. Some people may be clear about where they are going, but there is no shared sense of direction. Although you may be accomplishing work, there is a lot of wasted effort. Work often needs to be redone because leaders change their minds or were not clear in their communications in the first place. People are juggling multiple concerns and trying to “do it all” because priorities are not clear.

Total score 29 or less = UNFOCUSED
If work is getting done, ask, “At what cost?” You and your people are in danger of “burning out.” Individuals may care deeply, but there is no collective mindset or vision to align them around something greater than their daily tasks.

How to improve your vision

If your vision test scores are lower than you’d like, read “What Is Vision?” for information on how to improve your vision. For a more in-depth explanation of how to create a shared vision, see the book, Full Steam Ahead! Unleash the Power of Vision at Work and in Your Life, by Ken Blanchard and Jesse Lyn Stoner (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2nd revised edition, 2011).

First published on Jesse Lyn Stoner’s website. © 2019 Jesse Stoner


About The Author

Jesse Lyn Stoner’s picture

Jesse Lyn Stoner

Jesse Lyn Stoner, founder of consultancy Seapoint Center, has worked with hundreds of leaders using collaborative processes to engage the entire workforce in creating their desired future. Stoner has authored several books including Full Steam Ahead! Unleash the Power of Vision (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2nd rev. ed. 2011), co-authored with Ken Blanchard. Stoner is recognized by the American Management Association as one of the Top Leaders to Watch in 2015 and by INC Magazine as one of the Top 100 Leadership Experts. Stoner has advanced degrees in psychology and family system, and a doctorate in organizational development.