I was sitting at my desk this morning sipping on a robust cup of Joe – my daily quiet time at 6:30am - thinking it’s already been 8 months since I purchased Chisano Marketing Group.

While I believe it has been a good ride so far, I constantly think about how things might be better – not just for me, but for my staff, my clients, and my family. When I made the decision to become a business owner again, my vision was to shift the focus from trying to get more out of people, to investing more in their needs as individuals, dads, moms, sons and daughters. And hopefully, such an approach would fuel and inspire them to bring their best to work every day.

All this to say that VISION is the lifeblood of any organization; it’s what keeps it moving forward. It provides meaning to the day-to-day challenges and setbacks that make up the rumble and tumble of real life. In a down or soft economy, like the one we have experienced since 2007, things can get pretty tactical. Everyone is just trying to survive. What worked yesterday does not necessarily work today. What works today may not necessarily work tomorrow. Decisions become pragmatic.

But after a while this wears on people. They begin to wonder if their efforts even matter. They can no longer connect their actions to a larger story. Work becomes a matter of just going through the motions, living from weekend to weekend, paycheck to paycheck.

This is where great leadership makes all the difference. Leadership is more than influence. It is about reminding people of what it is we are trying to build, and why it matters. It is about painting a picture of a better future. It comes down to pointing the way and saying, “C’mon. We can do this!”

When times are tough, vision is the first casualty. Before conditions can improve, it is the first thing we must recover.

I have a vision. Do you?

Joe Bouch