Walking the Walk– When the Firm’s Mission & Vision Become a Brand
Think quick: What are your firm’s core values? Does your firm even have a mission statement? What is it? Is it displayed prominently on your website or in your firm brochure? Do your partners and associates know what it is? More likely than not it includes a lot of really nice sounding words like “excellence”, “respect”, integrity”, “loyalty” and “commitment”. These are wonderful “words” but are they truly accurate reflections of your firm’s values? Does your firm hire people who reflect them?
January is International Creativity Month
Creativity and imagination are vital for business and personal success. Capitalize on your creative powers by devoting January to exploring new ideas and strategies and renewing your confidence in your capabilities.
“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
—Bill Gates
Offer a clear, compelling vision to guide your firm 

Your vision statement should be more than a piece of paper. It should explain what you want to accomplish, how you hope to achieve your goals, and why success is important. To craft a compelling vision statement that really inspires people inside and outside your firm, include these vital elements:
• Clarity. Your vision should convey a vivid picture of what the future will look like.
• Desirability. Appeal to the long-term interests of each of your different stakeholder groups: employees, customers, shareholders, vendors, and anyone else who has an interest in your business.
• Realism. The vision has to be feasible. It has to be built on realistic, attainable goals.
• Focus. A vision is useless if it isn’t clear enough to provide guidance in the decision-making process.
• Flexibility. Don’t confine and restrict your firm’s creativity. Your vision should allow for individual initiative and alternative responses in light of changing conditions.
• Brevity. If your vision is six pages long and hard to understand, nobody will read it. You should be able to communicate your vision in five minutes or less.
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