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Forming a Vision Statement

I have a dream. My dream may not be as compelling as Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream, and it may not be as far-reaching, but it is important to my life, and therefore, just as significant. “Vision formulation should be seen as a dynamic process, an integral part of the ongoing task of visionary leadership” (Nanus, 2008). My vision comes from my values and my goals and will forever remain a work in progress.

The things I value most in life are love, learning, honesty, and wisdom. Through reading Kouzes & Posner’s (07) book The Leadership Challenge, I’ve learned that “values are guides. They supply us with a moral compass by which to navigate the course of our daily lives” (p. 52). My moral compass leads me to work hard and to deal with others honestly. I try to learn something new every day, and through my own example, share this love for learning with my students. Students need a strong capable leader who is led by strong core values. This may be especially true of my students, many of whom come from an impoverished background.

My vision is to reach my students and instill in them a love for learning that motivates them to take a more active role in their own education. This will be something new for these students. Most of them just ‘do what they’re told’ in regard to their education, so it’s very likely I’ll run into change resistance as I urge them to begin thinking for themselves. In his book Leadership from the Inside Out, Kevin Cashman (08) states that for change to be successful a leader must “focus people’s attention on the new idea and help them to map a clear vision of what their world will look like from the inside-out (p. 118). I’ll also need to provide an environment where our shared vision becomes the norm while giving them time to reflect on the changes that must be made. By reminding them about that their achievement is our true measure of success, I’ll provide them with ownership and responsibility in meeting our goals. (Cashman, 2008)

Proper goal setting requires both end goals and performance goals. End goals define “the final objective...while performance goals identify steps taken to achieve end goals” (Whitmore, 2009, p. 59). My end goal is to be a leader both in the classroom and out. My performance goals include finding a mentor and a coach to help guide me through my leadership journey. My coach will be able to help me clarify my action plan, while my mentor will be able to share her wisdom from many years in the classroom. Other professional performance goals include creating effective lesson plans and developing a coaching program at the school where I work.

Perhaps the most important goal regarding my students is creating effective lesson plans. Although I do want them to start thinking for themselves and making decisions based on a set of shared values, I’ll also need to teach them the fundamental tricks of the trade. My job is to teach them how to use computers. Leading them into a better life is simply a bonus. By coming to class prepared, giving them the opportunity to take part in lesson planning, and by holding them accountable for quality standards, I’ll begin to set the precedence for superior performance.

Personal Mission Statement

My mission is to educate my students in a loving, supporting, and motivating environment so they develop their own love for learning and have a better chance for a successful future.

Personal Vision Statement

Five years from now, mine will be the class all the students want to go to because I will help them develop their own learning abilities, and I will encourage and support them every step of the way.

Sharing the Vision

“Shared values make a significant positive difference in work attitudes and performance” (Kouzes & Posner, 2007, p. 63). Of course, “leaders can’t impose their values on organizational members” (Kouzes & Posner, 2007, p. 67), so I’ll need to be creative as I find ways to share values with my students. One way that I’ll share my values with my students is by continuing to be open and honest with them. One of the things my students like most about me is that I’m “real” and I don’t pretend to be something I’m not. Another way I’ll share my values with them is to continue taking my own education seriously.

From shared values come shared visions. In their 2007 book The Leadership Challenge, Kouzes & Posner tell us that:

To be sustained over time, visions must be compelling and memorable. Leaders must breathe life into visions, they must animate them so that others can experience what it would be like to live and work in that ideal and unique future. (p. 152)

I have the entire summer to prepare my vision of the future before I have to share it with my students in the fall. “The prerequisite to enlisting others in a shared vision is genuineness” (Kouzes & Posner, 2007, p. 151). By speaking from the heart, and sharing my emotions freely I’ll be able to enlist the support of others as we work towards a common goal.


Creating a vision statement is a very personal undertaking that requires a great deal of self-reflection. Only through self-reflection am I able to determine where my goals and values will lead me. I believe I now have a vision statement and mission that I can follow well into the future.


Cashman, K. (2008). Leadership from the inside out. San Francisco, CA: Barrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (2007). The Leadership Challenge (4th Edition ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Nanus, B. (2008). Finding the right vision. (J. Gallos, Ed.) San Francisco: Wiley & Sons.

Whitmore, J. (2009). Coaching for performance. Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.