Making Vision Stick: Part 1—Introduction

How are you currently doing at casting a compelling vision and making it stick?


Andy Stanley, best-selling author, leadership communicator and founding pastor of North Point Ministries, offers an introduction to the importance of “recognizing a burden” that your organization is uniquely equipped to do something about. In part 1 of this series, Making Vision Stick, Andy answers the question: What is strategic vision? 

As you begin the Making Vision Stick series, Andy offers an an introduction to the importance of having a burden that your organization is uniquely equipped to do something about, and why it is essential to establish a compelling mental picture of what could be, fueled by a passion that it should be.

Watch the first video of the series and start learning how to create a better vision for your organization.

In the mid-1990s, a group of us saw a need for a different kind of church in Atlanta. So we planned for about a year, and built a 226,000-square-foot building with seating capacity for about 5,000 people. Since that time we’ve built two additional campuses in the Atlanta area, and every single weekend, believe it or not, about 22,000 people attend one of our three Atlanta campuses. In addition to that we’ve started 21 similar churches throughout the United States and Canada.

One of the things that has contributed to our success has been developing a strategic vision and making it stick. We decided at the very beginning that everybody, our staff and all of our congregations, needed to be able to answer two simple questions. What are we doing, and how do I fit in?

Do you know where your organization is going, and where you fit into that vision? The other thing we decided is that if people don’t know where we’re going, it’s because we haven’t made it clear.

A strategic vision definition: A vision is simply a mental picture of what could be, fueled by a passion that it should be. A mental picture of what could be is really nothing more than a dream.

What is strategic vision? It’s when your picture of what could be is harnessed with the passion that something needs to be, that something has to be done or changed, then you’re on the verge of a vision.

Vision always begins with a burden; a burden for something that needs to be done. If you’re a leader in an organization, either for profit or not for profit, chances are you’re pretty clear on what your vision is.

The challenge is that vision doesn’t stick. As clear as you think you’ve been, invariably somebody walks up and asks a question that you’ve already answered 100 times. At the end of the day as the leader, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your organizational vision has stuck with the people you’re serving and working with.

Vision doesn’t stick without constant care and attention. Everything is tough on vision. Success is tough on vision. As your organization is successful, it’s going to grow, and with growth comes complexity. Complex organizations easily lose their focus. But failure is tough on vision, too. Without us realizing it, vision disappears in the midst of all the crisis and chaos.

Andy Stanley

Leadership communicator, best-selling author and founding pastor of North Point Ministries Andy Stanley inspires tens of thousands of people. Andy founded Atlanta-based North Point Ministries in 1995, leading six churches in the Atlan...

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