The Vision Action Matrix

Where Am I Headed?

Recently, I spoke with a lady who works for a very large organization. She has taken on a role in the past three months to create a new line of business in an area in which she has limited knowledge. This was a stretch opportunity for her, so she enthusiastically said, “Yes!” Now, after three months, she is feeling lost.

“I’m not sure what I’m doing. There are so many pieces and possibilities it is difficult to make any headway. I also feel isolated from my manager, and I’m not sure if he really knows what we are trying to achieve. I’m busy doing stuff, but I can’t really say I’ve moved forward.”

I have heard variations of this story many times over the years. I would title the story, “I’m Not Sure Where I’m Headed.” Personally, I have felt this way myself. I’m busy doing stuff, but not really getting anywhere.


When I find myself in this place, I realize that I am lacking vision, and I need to refocus. Vision is not that complicated. It is simply stopping to think about the future state. This stopping and thinking can be done on your own or with people committed to the purpose you want to accomplish. The next step is making it visual by writing it or creating an image. This is where vision starts to take shape. It is like a potter who visualizes a bowl and then molds it on the wheel.

You’re Dreaming

Vision without action is simply dreaming. If all I do is imagine the future state but never do anything to move towards it, I can be just as lost as the person without a vision and probably more disappointed. It’s like dreaming about going on a tropical vacation but never saving the money to go. Or wanting to help people less fortunate but never scheduling time to do it. Or desiring to learn a new skill but not finding a teacher. We have all done this.

Simple Answer

The answer is simple. It is not easy, but it is simple. Both vision and action are necessary for achievement.

This Vision-Action Matrix can provide you with a starting point to determine if you are a Dreamer, Doer, Idler, or Achiever.

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Dreamer – Vision without action

Doer – Action without vision

Idler – No vision and no action

Achiever – Vision with action

The Challenge

  1. Identify where you feel lost.
  2. Stop and think about a future state that would eliminate the lost feeling.
  3. Make it visual by writing it down or drawing a picture.
  4. Identity one action step you can do to make the vision become a reality.
  5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 as needed until you are satisfied.