Issue No. 182 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting highlights 20 building blocks for creating a personal vision, including this warning: “A vision does not necessarily require immediate action.” And this reminder, check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
Vision Building Blocks
Sometimes I get a little flack from inexperienced leaders who question the wisdom of a leadership system with 20 management buckets (core competencies). They want it simpler. But leadership and management issues are never simple. They are complex. If you just want “add water and stir,” then abandon any thoughts about leading others. Ditto the vision thing.
I’ve always appreciated Andy Stanley’s approach to what he calls “visioneering.” His blueprint for developing and maintaining personal vision has a comprehensive foundation of (count them) 20 building blocks. Preach it, Andy!
So here’s the question: Is it possible to build a strategic vision (or a B.H.A.G.—a Big Holy Audacious Goal) for your organization before you’ve developed a personal vision?
I wrote this issue from Turkey after two days of workshops with national leaders of the European Evangelical Alliance. The vision question looms large in any leadership discussion, so I hand-carried Stanley’s book across the Atlantic. (Good thing. I was in Turkey and my luggage was in Munich.) The volcano in Iceland treated us to all kinds of lessons in patience and grace, including a four-day departure delay and an overnight in the Istanbul airport. But I digress.
Stanley’s Building Block #8 is a good reminder for all of us: “Don’t confuse your plans with God’s vision.” And he draws a simple, but important distinction between a vision and a plan. “A vision is what could and should be. A plan is a guess as to the best way to accomplish the vision.”
I’m tempted to list all 20 of his building blocks here, but if I did, you would be tempted not to buy the book. So here are just a few teasers:
#1. A vision begins as a concern.
#5. What God originates, he orchestrates.
#8. Cast your vision to the appropriate people at the appropriate time.
#13. Visions thrive in an environment of unity; they die in an environment of division.
#14. Abandon the vision before you abandon your moral authority.
#17. The end of a God-ordained vision is God.
#20. Maintaining a vision requires bold leadership.
Urge someone on your team to buy, read and summarize this excellent book for your staff. You’ll also appreciate his insightful questions after each building block. Note: I have used half a dozen of his sidebar quotations in PowerPoints in recent years, including this superb reminder from the Leadership Challenge, “Leaders must challenge the process because systems will unconsciously conspire to maintain the status quo and prevent change.”
To order this book from Amazon, click on this title: Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Personal Vision, by Andy Stanley.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) Andy Stanley quotes Aristotle who said, “The soul never thinks without a picture.” What picture comes to mind when people think about your organization’s vision?
2) Stanley also writes, “Life is a multifaceted journey. It calls for a multifaceted vision.” Do you agree? Why?
Pepperoni & Lencioni - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas in the Book Bucket, Chapter 5, in Mastering the Management Buckets, is to identify your Top-10, Top-20 and Top-100 leadership and management books—because leaders are readers.
So host a pizza lunch for your team this month with this admission requirement: “Bring one of your Top-10 leadership and management books to lunch and give us a five-minute book review with one big insight that has immediate and practical value to our work.”
For more resources from the Book Bucket, including the “starter list” of my top book pick for each of the 20 buckets, click on my website.