The Distinction Between Vision and Direction

I went to the doc today to discuss blood-test results that were a little abnormal in some respects. She confidently talked about changing my diet – and used a pie-chart to represent risk factors of heart disease. It is wrong to use a pie chart for that. As soon as she said “pie chart” all I could think about was the chocolate-chip pie that my wife & Mom make. Good stuff.

Anyway, she gave me some good direction. Eat fish, vegetables, fruits, exercise more, blah blah blah. After making such changes, my blood work will be checked again in 6 months. But I’m not motivated. That lack of motivation is due to a lack of vision (not my fear of needles). I’ve long ago accepted the absence of 6-pack abs. 

At work, I lay forth visions of what products could look like. That vision must be fresh, innovative and attainable so it can act as a magnet to accumulate enough stakeholder and developer attention. The vision is not more than a paragraph – and it’s clearly stated. Rewards or benefits can be drawn from it and internalized.

The doc should’ve laid forth a vision of being active & healthy 30+ years from now. From that, I can see that would enable me to play with my grandchildren. 

Direction is the education given to resources (human and not) to make the vision come to light. It guarantess, with development processes and adequate communication, that motivated resources are productive and waste is low. 

Culture is also important to mention. If a team is motivated to work on an outstanding product but the culture fosters a low moral, that product may never come to fruition.

In short, Good, Internalized Vision + Directed Resources + Culture = Success.

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  1. Let the vision of your uncle, who at age 50 had his first heart attack and just 6 months ago had a quadruple bypass, motivate you. Let the vision of your mother, who started cholesterol meds at the age of 35 and continues to this day to take them, motivate you. Let the vision of your father taking blood pressure meds motivate you. Um, sweetheart, you have a pretty strong family history that you might want to mention to your doctor. And you have a wonderful family to motivate you! I want you to see your grandchildren – it is a tremendous thrill!Love, Mom

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