Vision’s Five Hats with Senia Maymin

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Why is vision important? How is vision relevant to your life today? Let’s say that vision is a perspective that can help you move from right here to way over there.

Today, we’re going to try on five hats that can help us create our visions. This is for you and your own business if you’re a solopreneur. This is for you and your department if you’re within a company. This is for you and your whole huge big company if you’re a top executive. The five hats work for every level, for your business, your home, yourself.

To watch the entire conversation, click here or play the embedded video below.

I once heard someone say, “I’ve been a leader at this company for over 10 years and I have heard the CEO stating the same vision every quarter for 10 years. That’s 40 quarters, the same thing, 40 times.” Today I challenge you to determine a vision that you could be excited to say 40 times.

Sample Visions from Business

Before we get to the five hats, I’m going to read some interesting vision statements so you can get a taste for what one might be like.

The vision of TED Talks is to spread ideas. That’s one of the shortest I’ve seen, two words.

For Life is Good, the company that makes great shirts, the vision is to spread the power of optimism.

Ikea, a store we visit to get things for our homes, has the vision is to create better everyday life for many people.

For Warby Parker, the phenomenal eyeglass company, the vision is to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially conscious businesses. Their vision includes not only what they’re doing, but also their desired impact.

JetBlue’s vision is to inspire humanity both in the air and on the ground. There is a fun little quirk, in the air and on the ground.

Now let’s start putting on the five hats.

Hat One: The ONE Thing

I highly recommend Gary Keller’s book, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truths behind Extraordinary Results. According to this book, you want less in your life and you want more in your life. Less, you want fewer distractions and fewer overwhelming things. More, you want more of what matters to you. The premise of this book is to choose your one thing.

“What is ONE thing?” Is a hat that you can put on as you think about vision as a family, as a business, as a department. Use your intuition. What is the one thing that matters most?

If you just distill it all away and let your gut answer for what really matters, what is that one thing that keeps coming up again and again for you? Some of you are saying, “Inner peace.”

Hat Two: If Anything Were Possible…

We ask this question often in our coaching sessions: “If anything were possible, what would you like to achieve?” I speak with a lot of consultants. Sometimes they will say, “I want to be on Oprah.” What if you went a little bigger even than that? What if ANYTHING were possible? What if you hosted a program like Oprah’s program? What if you wrote the five best-selling books on topic X?”

Here’s an example from our comments by Brian, “If anything were possible, connecting deeply with others through quality conversations.” That is a vision that is lasting. You could say that 40 times over 10 years.

Hat Number Three: 10–10–10

Suzy Welch wrote a book about how to make decisions: 10–10–10: A Fast and Powerful Way to Get Unstuck in Love, at Work, and with Your Family. I encourage you to use her approach as a vision exercise. The three questions that she asks are “What are the consequences of my decision in 10 minutes, in 10 months, and in 10 years?”

I ask you, “What is a vision that you could get behind in the next 10 minutes, the next 10 months, and the next 10 years?”

Hat Number Four: What is Your Legacy?

What meaningful impact do you want to have on the world?

Ask yourself, “If I’m not here in a year or in five years, what do I want my legacy to be? My legacy for business? My legacy for home?”

Some people find imagining not being here rather macabre, particularly during the pandemic. But I’ve found this question lights a fire under the feet of a lot of business leaders.

Hat Number Five: Motto

What do you want your motto to be? Don’t worry about being cheesy or emotional. Think of a motto that would matter to you.

I’ll give an example from Silicon Valley Change. We have this magic powder in our coaches. At first, I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I went to a workshop session, and the leader said, “The cheesier your motto, the more likely it is to be true.” I thought about all of our incredible coaches. They can coach at that C suite and senior vice president level. They can coach at the manager level and the individual contributor level. It makes my business easy because I just tell people how incredible our coaches are.

What occurred to me is “Our coaches are people first and coaches second.” If you are working with one of our coaches, you are going to feel that there’s a real person who cares about your aspirations, about your goals, about who is supporting you, and about what is challenging you. They check in with you as real people. A coaching session is not transactional in any way. So, “People first, coaches second.”

That may sound more emotional than business-like and practical, but it’s a vision. It’s the direction that I want to continue when I bring on new coaches.

Let me share Brian’s motto with you. “Care, connect, commit, create.” I feel like that’s the beginning of an awesome rap song. Thank you, Brian. That’s exactly what I mean.


I invite you to wear these ideas like hats. Try them on. Wear one as you walk around your house. What is my one thing? If anything were possible, what would I most want our business to achieve? What do I believe in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years? What do I want my legacy to be? What’s the motto that I can get behind?


WHO ARE WE? We are a coaching organization. Our clients include premier technology companies including VMware, Logitech, ServiceNow, Sony PlayStation, and parts of the AirForce.

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Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Originally published at

Senia Maymin is the CEO of Silicon Valley Change Executive coaching and the co-author of Profit from the Positive.