Andy Stanly on vision (Part 1)

In the book Making Vision Stick, Andy Stanley cuts to the chase and puts some handles on this thing called “vision.” He tells us how to share it and how to protect it. In part one of this two part post I’ll hit the high points of how to share the vision and in part two I’ll hit the high points of how to protect the vision!

This is a worthwhile, easy read (74 pages) for anyone who leads anything!

A key point:

  • It is the leader’s responsibility to make sure that the vision is understood and acted on! To blame the people for “not getting it” is an abdication of leadership. Stanley writes, “If the followers don’t get it, we probably haven’t delivered the vision in a way that’s get-able.”

Five ways to make vision stick:

  • State the vision simply!  This is HUGE! The next time you go into a grocery store, hospital, church, or any other organization… read their vision statement (if you can find it). Most vision statements are ridiculously long! Stanley says, “People don’t remember and embrace paragraphs. They remember and embrace sentences!” BE SIMPLE!
  • Cast the vision convincingly! Stanley says that this is done in three steps:
  1. Define the problem that your vision addresses. People need to know what the problem is.
  2. Offer a solution to the problem! Tell them how you intend  to solve the problem. One key thing to remember is that a compelling, simple vision statement does NOT need to answer every question (e.g. who, what, how, why, when, where)! That’s what position papers, websites, etc. are for. Convincing vision statements are simple and compelling.  (Stanley points to the ONE campaign as an illustration of a simple vision)
  3. Present a reason to act NOW!
  • Repeat the vision regularly! “Build vision casting into the rhythm of your organization!” Schedule regular times to teach, explain, and champion the vision of your organization! Stanley says, “We all need to be reminded why we are doing what we are doing. We need to be reminded what’s at stake. We need to be reminded of the vision. And we need it more often than most leaders realize.”
  • Celebrate the vision systematically! “Celebrating the wins does more to clarify the vision than anything else.” And one more Andy Stanley quote, “What’s celebrated is repeated.” Celebrate the wins in your organization!
  • Embrace the vision personally! Listen to this… “Your giftedness may enable you to gather a following. But it will take more than talent to make your vision stick.” Making the vision stick requires the full buy-in of the leader!

Guys, this is a book worth picking up and reading… and reading again! If you’re leading anything click here and purchase!

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