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Making Vision Stick: Part 6—Embrace It Personally
What does it mean to embed the vision into your lifestyle?
In Part 6 of Making Vision Stick, Andy Stanley explains that to make visions stick, leaders must truly embody the vision of the organization in a personal and public way. He discusses strategies for staying on track when your enthusiasm for the vision wanes, as can happen in any organization. Embracing your vision is the most direct route back to being a leader worth following.
Watch this video to learn more about personally connecting with an organization's vision.
Living out the vision makes a leader worth following. And when people are convinced that the vision has stuck with you it's much easier for them to stick with the vision. If you aren't using our product you don't have credibility. If you aren't an example of what you're trying to get others to do, you lose your credibility.
And on a similar note, if your staff doesn't know that you're doing exactly what you expect them to do, you can damage your creditability as well. Now what that means is that if you're somewhat of an introvert you may have to force yourself to talk about your personal engagement with your company's vision. Even at the expense of coming across as somewhat self-serving.
Humility is a powerful thing in leadership, but sometimes you have to let people know what you're doing personally toward fulfilling your organizations vision. Doing so will encourage those around you to stay engaged at a personal level. With this in mind there are two questions you need to ask. Number one, am I personally embracing the vision of the organization? And then secondly, does anybody know? Have I made it public?
As I mentioned in a previous session our vision at our organization is to create churches that un-church people love to attend. So when my family invites someone to church I tell our staff, I say, "Yesterday we invited a family and they liked it," or whatever the story was. I want them to know that I am in this with them. I'm not simply trying to leverage communication skills to get them to work harder. I really believe in what we've come together to do.
Now this may be difficult with your particular organization but to make vision stick you really do have to embody the vision of the organization. And then you've got to let people know that you are in this with them, that you really are bought in.
Like you, I have friends who are fanatics about the products they sell or the companies that they work for. I have friends who work for Chick-fil-A and of course they would never leave home without a Chick-fil-A tie on. My friends who work for Coca-Cola will have absolutely nothing to do with a Pepsi product of any kind. And a friend of mine who works at GM is forever asking me when I'm going to trade in my car for a domestic model. And that's how it should be.
If you believe in something, you live it out. And that's not arrogant it's actually liberating. It frees people up to join you in the vision without suspicion or reservation. But let's be realistic from time to time our passion about our product or organization fades, doesn't it. There are times that I just don't feel it the way I did in the beginning or the way I did after a big win. While my commitment to the vision is always there, the amount of energy I have behind that vision can come and go.
So here's my advice to leaders who have lost or sense they may be losing their passion to live out the vision. Don't try to manufacture energy around something you don't have energy for. Don't try to manufacture energy around something that you just don't have energy for. The smart people around you will see right through that. And nobody appreciates a leader who has replaced genuine passion with hype.
In other words don't fake it, admit it. Admit it to a trusted friend within our organization and if they're honest they will probably admit that they have experience the very same thing. Why? Because everybody gets tired. And everybody gets distracted at some point. But in healthy organizations people feel safe admitting their fatigue.
When I feel my passion is waning or when I sense that I'm losing my drive to do what I know our church has been called to do, I don't hesitate to tell my core team, and often the confession alone really helps. When you confess to the right people, you may discover as I have that their encouragement and their enthusiasm alone may be the very thing that helps you get back in the game.
Bottom line, if your vision is going to stick you've got to embody it. And when you feel your enthusiasm beginning to wane, don't fake it, confess it. That's the most direct route back into being the leader that you want to be.
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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