What's More Important, Your Vision Or Your Goals? An Expert's Take On How To Succeed

Where you should focus if you've got a dream.

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When it comes to figuring out how to achieve your dreams, there's a debate about the effectiveness of vision vs. goals. The truth is that you can't have one without the other.

I work with people in helping them achieve their goals, and what I help them most with is their clarity of vision.

Clarity could be in discovering or understanding their vision and then implementing it. What separates great leaders from average ones is the time and effort spent on refining and clearly defining their goals.


In order to get there, we have to back up a bit.

The precursor to goals is the vision, that's why you can't have one without the other. On most company websites, you will find a vision, mission, and values. These are the pillars that drive organizations forward.

What makes them so important?

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Vision vs goals: Why can't one exist without the other?

"Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world," says author Joel A. Barker.

In order for goals to be crisp, the vision must be crystal clear. While vision is emotional, goals are rational. Vision shows you the destination, while goals pave the path.

Goals require action while vision requires imagination and desire.

Vision stems from dreaming big dreams. Most people fear grand, lofty, impossible dreams because they worry about achieving them, the roadblocks on the way, and what would happen if they are unable to.


The judgment they will have to subject themselves to and the pressure of achieving those dreams.

Contrary to popular thought, the purpose of a big dream is not necessarily achieving it. It's about how it will make you feel.

You see, the dream inspires and gives you direction.

It makes you feel compelled to move forward in more meaningful ways. As people see you moving with such purpose and confidence, treading the unknown with resilience, they get influenced, they become followers.

However, the important thing is to get a good idea of your vision, translate it to goals, and then detach from them.

Use the inspiration to achieve momentum and effortless actions, fulfillment, and joy, stay mindful of the goal and reconnect with it once in a while but practice detachment from it, using it as a muse.


Vision, on its own, is not enough if not coupled with goals. You can stretch your vision as far as your imagination will allow.

However, your goals will stretch you and will continuously test your knowledge, ability, skills, and perseverance.

Sometimes the founders of an organization have set such a compelling vision that it attracts leaders aligned with that vision quite naturally and organically.

It's simple enough and easy to understand, relatable due to the business's nature or how it's laid out.

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For example, Uber wants to solve the world's transportation problems. Meanwhile, Facebook's vision is to connect people.


Many times though, the vision may be quite broad, like serving customers well. The leaders must clarify their version of the vision and map and align it to that of the organization.

Always remember to focus on the "what" first without diluting it with the "how."

The how will later be translated, communicated, and broken down such that all the employees get it.

Getting to a vision can be a challenge for a lot of people. One thing that can help with vision is to be childlike. A child wants what it wants.


As you get older, your brain puts in constructs of the ifs and buts, based on your experience and conditioning.

While experience can be a great teacher, it's not the best to dream and visualize a new future.

Remember, experience stems from the past. It serves better with the tactical, not the best tool for visionaries.

Get going on your vision. After all, how will you get there if you don't know where you are going?

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Bhavna Dalal is a Master Certified Executive Coach MCC ICF, Speaker, and author of Checkmate Office Politics who helps people develop their leadership skills such as executive presence, strategic thinking, influencing and networking, women leadership, and so on. To read her writing which has been published in Forbes, Fortune, Economic times, and many more, and to know more about her work visit her site Talent Power Partners and follow her on LinkedIn.