When many business owners and executives look to push their organizations to the next level, they consider tweaking their marketing strategy, improving their sales process or making their processes more efficient. However, many leaders overlook the impact of a strong vision on shaping a powerful future for their companies.

Every exceptional business starts with a vision – and a leader behind that vision. Your vision is bigger than you. It’s also bigger than the current state of your organization. Your vision takes stock of what you have now and offers new insight into what your organization can become in the future – and who you can become for your customers. People like Henry Ford, Jack Welch, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos and even Martha Stewart all started with a vision for the behemoth brands they’ve built today.

Creating a bold vision requires you to dig deep. It will challenge your courage, your creativity and your drive to invent – and require both determination and resources to implement it. But without a vision, your company simply won’t move forward in any significant way.

Momentum requires focus and direction: Vision provides both. Imagine if everyone in your organization were 100 percent on the same page. Your team and their staff would understand their goals, both short-term and long-term, and work together to make them happen.

How strong is your current vision? Start by asking the following eight questions, which will both help you assess where you are now and act as a roadmap moving forward.

  1. What are your core values?
  2. What is your core focus?
  3. What is your 10-year target?
  4. What is your marketing strategy?
  5. What is your 3-year picture?
  6. What is your 1-year plan?
  7. What are your quarterly wildly important goals (WIGs)?
  8. What is your issues list?

If you can answer each with confidence – and could say the same about your staff – congratulations! Your vision is running strong. However, if you stumble on any of these, or doubt that your staff would share your point of view, you could benefit from considering these questions on a deeper level.

Start by putting your own answers to paper. Then, once you’ve solidified your ideas, gather your senior leaders. Share your answers with them, and ask for their feedback. Remember that your entire team may not agree with your answers. It’s your job as their leader to make a final decision for your organization.