March 31, 2009

The People's Vision

As I keep mulling over the question, "Whose vision is more important, the leader's or the people's?", I have to look at what the people envision. This is where so many church's & organizations grind to a halt in their effectiveness.

Here's the obvious tension: when leading an organization or ministry, it's possible that there is a unique "vision" for every person that is a part of your group. If you lead a congregation of 300 people, then there could be 300 visions for what that church should be. If you lead a team comprised of 5 people, there could be 5 distinct visions for what your team should be doing. That's the tension that leaders live with everyday, & I'm not sure if the people they lead can really appreciate that.

That being said, the vision of the people isn't always a bad thing. The "micro-visions" of the people can be harnessed to achieve the God given vision that the leader is trying to cast. It's all about cultivating relationships & communicating the vision in such a way that people see how they can be a part of what the leader is sharing with them. The vision of the people doesn't have to be at odds with the leader's vision. Much of that will be determined by how the leader leads & communicates the vision that God has given him/her.

However, it obvious that there are times that the "will of the people" impedes the vision that the leader is trying to cast. That's the problem: the will of the people. The will of people is almost always self-centered & self-glorifying. Leaders have to creatively confront those that they lead while continually casting the vision for the greater good.

Here's the bottom line of dynamics between the leader & those he/she leads. This too came from Rob Jacobs, whose initial question sparked these previous posts. "Buy into the vision, but not the leader= change the leader. Buy into the leader, but not the vision = change vision. Buy into both = RESULTS." Not only do we have to get people to buy into & trust us, but we also have to get people to buy into where we're leading. It's about more than our personality. It's about how we lead everyday. That means TIME. Chances are people will try to change the leader. It's happened to most of us in leadership. They'll also attack the vision. That's where wise leaders slow it down a little, invest the necessary time to know they've effectively cultivated & communicated with those they lead, then take action to achieve the vision.

Leading is hard. It's a grind, but I love every minute of it, even the times when I or the vision come under attack. I know that those struggles have the opportunity to galvanize me, the vision, & those that I lead so that we can move forward & do greater things.

No comments: