Does your financial institution have a vision statement?  Is that vision statement so convoluted with jargon that you don’t really know what it means? You are not alone. In my experience, few people in any organization know that organization’s vision statement, and even fewer actually care. That is a sign that your vision statement needs a makeover.

Vision statements have an important role in the life of a company.  According to, enterprises using mission statements and vision statements successfully outperform those that do not by more than six to one. They set the tone for where the company wants to go and what it hopes to accomplish. They aren’t just decorations on the wall (at least they shouldn’t be). They are supposed to inspire employees and guide leadership decisions. That can’t happen if nobody can understand them.

If this describes your financial institution’s vision statement, I challenge you to try revamping it in six words or less. This concept is known as thinking in business card or billboard format. The idea is that anything longer than six words won’t fit on a business card or be legible on a billboard. It forces you to get to the meat of what your financial institution is about without all the fluff. In fact, your vision statement should answer the question, “What are we about?”

Is it really possible to do this in six words?

Read the rest of the article in the December 2015 issue of On the Mark, my monthly e-newsletter. You’ll find examples of some very successful companies whose vision statements contain fewer than six words.

Also, in the e-newsletter, find three tips for setting goals you’ll actually achieve. This is the time of year when many of us make resolutions and fail to follow through with them. This year, resolve to set achievable goals instead.