I was handed a little book recently by Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church in Atlanta. Making Vision Stick is one of his Leadership Library books. I read Creating Community a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. But I thought I would give you a summary of Vision because there were some things that were particularly salient for us.
Making Vision Stick
We talk a lot about casting vision in our ministry. But Stanley says the leader is responsible for more than just casting vision. He mentions five different aspects.
- State the vision simply. Stanley says, “It is better to have a vision statement that is incomplete and memorable than to have one that is complete and forgettable.”
- Cast the vision convincingly. He suggests that we 1. Define the problem. 2. Offer a solution. 3. Present a reason. If we can’t do this, the vision won’t stick.
- Repeat the vision regularly. I forget how much we need to be reminded of what we are doing and why. Stanley says we needed to be reminded more often than we think.
- Celebrate the vision systematically. Celebration is important and it reminds others of those things that are important. For example, I send out a weekly email to our ministry partners. This is one of the smartest things I have done in MPD. I am surprised how often our partners refer to something I mention in those emails. It is a systematic way of keeping our partners informed of what we are doing.
- Embrace the vision personally. It is so easy to get distracted by secondary matters. We need to personally embody what we are talking about.
Stanley also mentions, what he calls, “vision slippage indicators”. First new projects, products and programs must be vision-centric. Lots of cool things come our way, but do they help us accomplish our vision? Then there are requests, stories and complaints. What we are getting back from our people lets us know whether the vision has caught on.
You can read Making Vision Stick in a sitting. But we want to live out those lessons all year long. I like to use the Transformational Community article at the start of the year. But throughout the year, I keep pulling out the prayer, win, build and send critical path. What works for you?