Making Vision Stick: Part 3—Cast It Convincingly

How do you cast vision to your team or organization?


Now that you have stated your vision simply, in Part 3 of Making Vision Stick, Andy Stanley, best-selling author, leadership communicator and founding pastor of North Point Ministries, picks up with the next critical step: Casting your Vision.

Watch the third video in this series to learn the necessity of confidence.

As you know, it's not enough to simply have a memorable vision statement. At some point you have to talk about your vision. What I want to do in the next several minutes is talk about three elements critical to casting an effective vision. If you will simply organize your thoughts around these three ideas, it will make you a far more compelling vision caster.

As a leader, it doesn't matter whether you're comfortable onstage or consider yourself a public speaker. You're still responsible for casting the vision of your organization. You may be onstage, or it may be a one-on-one situation, or it may be a memo or even a video, but when you sit down and begin working out how to communicate your vision, having these three elements in mind will help you be far more effective.

To begin with, you need to define the problem. Think about this. Your organization is actually a solution to a problem. You may have never thought about it like that, but when you talk about your vision you should be able to say, "Here is the problem that we have come together to solve." When preparing to talk about your vision, you've got to be able to answer this question. What is the problem our organization has come together to solve?

Another way to think about it is this. What would go undone if your organization ceased to exist? What would go undone if your organization ceased to exist? What would go undone in your community or in your town, in the country, maybe even in the world, if your division or your department or your company just disappeared? You really do need to know the answer to that question because the first element of effective vision casting is clearly defining the problem that your company solves. After you define the problem, then you have to offer a solution. Again, your organization's vision is actually a solution to a problem.

The last time I went to Google and searched the term "business solutions", about a half a million entries showed up because businesses understand that they are in the solution business. So as you begin to cast your vision you start with here is the problem we've come together to solve, and then you go on to explain how your organization, product or service is a solution to that problem. When you connect a problem that people are convinced needs to be solved with a clear and compelling solution, you have the potential to actually capture people's hearts.

The third element of effective vision casting is to explain why and why now. Why do we need to do something about this, and why do we need to do something about it now? Chances are, the problem or the tension that you're business is designed to address has been around for a long time. It's not a new problem. It's not a recent problem. So why in the world should someone address it now? What is at stake now? What makes this season unique for you and your team?

When you can answer those three questions, you have created the framework for the passion that you're going to need to move your people and your organization forward. They already know there's a problem. They probably have a hunch about the solution. What they need is someone to rise up and do something about it, and to do something about it now, and that's the role of the leader. That's the role of the vision caster. To cast your vision convincingly you need a reason for why the time is now.

This next statement may sound a bit harsh, but here I go. If you haven't defined the problem, determined the solution, and discovered a compelling reason why now is the time to act, you're probably not ready to go public with your vision, and if you do, it probably won't stick. Let me give you an example. In Atlanta there are churches everywhere. When we started North Point Community Church we knew that the last thing Atlanta needed was another church. The problem was not a lack of churches in the Atlanta area. The problem was this. In the United States, 90% of people believe in God, but only a fraction of those people attend church. The problem wasn't God. The problem was obviously the local church. The problem we wanted to address was how to connect un-church people to the local church.

So what was our vision? To create a church that un-church people love to attend. Why should we do that, and why should we do it now? Because in Atlanta there weren't enough churches that were created or designed with un-church people in mind. When I stood up during our initial gathering, I was prepared to say, "Here is the problem we've come together to address. Here is the solution to that problem, and here's why we need to do something and do something now.”

Perhaps a productive exercise for you as a leader would be to sit down and think through these three questions. What's the problem we've come together to solve, how is our organization a solution to that problem, and why us and why now? Once you've answered these three questions, you'll be ready to cast your vision convincingly.


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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