“Vision leaks.” And the most critical thing we as leaders can do is to share it effectively and “plug the holes” before they leak!
Andy Stanley does a tremendous job of teaching how to share the vision and stop the leaks in his new book Making Vision Stick.
In part one of this two part post I reviewed Stanley’s ideas for sharing vision effectively. (Click here to read it).
In this post I want to highlight some ideas he shares for stopping the vision leak.
Stanley gives two categories of “Vision slippage indicators” (i.e. two ways to know when your vision is leaking!)
Projects, Products, and Programs
- He writes, “Leaders must keep their antenna up for new things that have the potential to distract from the main thing.”
- We all know how this works! Everyone in the organization (particularly the church) has a good idea about what we should do! Before long we’re doing a little bit of everything… except the main thing! And consequently the main thing is not as effective as it could be! Read this next paragraph to see how Stanley addresses this…
- Stanley writes, “Our approach stands in stark contrast to a practice that many church leaders have adopted. I’ve actually heard this taught as a good approach to pastoral leadership. It goes something like this: When somebody comes to you with a ministry idea, tell ’em, ‘That’s a great idea! Why don’t you lead it?’ This is heralded as an effective way to involve people in ministry. I think it’s a great way for a church to lose focus. Vision, not people’s random ideas, should determine programming. Vision, not a cool powerpoint presentation, should determine which initiatives are funded by your organization. Vision, not the promise of great returns, should determine which products are launched.”
- Leader, keep your eye on the new projects, programs, and products your organization is launching/beginning. You can tell a LOT about the vision stickiness from what your organization is beginning!
The second set of “vision slippage indicators” are…
Requests, Stories, and Complaints
- “Requests, complaints, and stories reveal a great deal about what’s on the minds and hearts of the people in an organization.”
- Stanley says, “Consider this: If there was 100 percent buy-in to your vision by the people you work with, what questions would they ask? What kinds of stories would they feel compelled to tell? What would get on their nerves? Begin to listen. Really listen. If the people around you aren’t asking the right questions, telling the right stories, or complaining about the right things, you vision may be slipping.”
- And one more memorable quote from Andy, “What people complain about communicates their understanding of the vision.”
This is a worthwhile read for any leader or any type of organization! It’s clear, memorable, and easy to read (74 pages).