Without a clear vision as a leader, you will perish…and so will your team, and the core group you are leading. It’s inevitable. These are not encouraging words are they? But they are true, biblically true. Proverbs 29:18 says it a little differently, but this is a post about leadership and vision, or the lack of it.
Your vision as a leader is effective only if the vision is successfully shared. Many a great people called to do mighty things in the arena of leadership have lost the basic concepts of vision because of the failure to share the set vision in it’s entirety and completeness. Ugly little objects of destruction better known to the modern world like vanity, pride, and elitism, have all but destroyed some of the great leadership powerhouses of the past, and have a strangle-hold on the up and coming heavy hitters in the game today. Narcissistic people who think that they are God’s gift to leadership, ultimately find out that they are just broken vessels leaking these toxins that they siphoned into themselves for nothing more then personal gain and accolades.
Back to vision. It’s easy to post great little rhyming one-liners about vision that make you feel warm and fuzzy, like those frequently found on Facebook and Twitter. Some corny examples are “your tomorrow is better than your yesterday”, and how about “if you want things to change, than change your focus,” or “what’s in front of you is greater than that which is behind you.” And one of my favorites is “you’re in it to win it!” Now don’t throw rocks at me if you like these or have used them from time to time. I’m simply quoting what I’ve seen, and I like some of them, but to really get to the nuts and bolts of real vision, you have to dig deep within the spiritual truths that you know, not just quirky little cliches. This is found in the place where faith is paired up with that truth, a joined common union and bond, betrothed together for the sake of finding a vision. This of course, can only be achieved by having a relationship with God, after all, He is the Great Visionary. Abraham knew him as the “Architect”, Moses knew him as the “I Am”. As a leader, what is He to you?
The most important elelment to leading of course, is the people. They are the ones He has entrusted us with. They are the very reason we lead, right? Yes indeed. There has to be a genuine love for them, or your attempts to lead will be futile and in some respects, perverted. Harsh words, I know, but necessary.
Here are a few quick tips to keep a sharp edge on the sword of leadership, which will help you stay focused and vision-centered.
For the Leader
- Surround yourself with people that will hold you accountable. Here’s something to remember: “Real friends tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.” Leadership growth comes from being held accountable.
- Lead from your heart. Keeping yourself humble means a lot of time for introspection. Discard all the self-absorbed emotions.
For the Follower
- Hold the leader up in prayer. It’s not easy being a leader and being out front. There’s a permanent “bulls eye” attached to the back, front, and both sides of your leader, so prayer is a must. This is the best way to keep yourself pure from all the negativity originating from your mind, as well as what you hear from others.
- Take owenership of the vision. Remember…It’s your vision too. You’re in this together. It not only takes a leader, but a team, and followers to make the vision a success. Do your part, get involved!
When these things are accomplished, the vision will be realized. When the vision is realized, then it becomes “portable” and “transferable”. This is the ultimate goal of the vision. The visions that God has entrusted us with, are not only for us, but for the generations to follow! How awesome of a plan is that?!? That’s how God works, that’s how He designs things to be accomplished for His Kingdom. And you are a major part of it. You have a purpose and a plan in it. I encourage you to grab the vision and run with it.
If you don’t know what your visdion looks like, or you’re not sure if you even have one, than seek the face of the One who holds all wisdom and knowledge in His hand. Ask the Lord to grant you the vision for your vision today.