One would think that friendship, philosophy, or doctrine would be the critical unifiers in an organization and that they would serve to ensure its long-term vitality. But the Scripture shows us that it is really the vision of the organization that determines both its arch and life cycle.
Vision is key to organization – building because it helps to define not only the expected outcomes of the organization, but also attracts the very people who are best suited to serve within its infrastructure.
Vision tells us who will fit and who will not. And even allows people to self- select which businesses or organizations with which they want to align themselves.
The vision let’s us know what the organization is all about: where they are going and what they are going to do.
We understand this need for vision for businesses, churches, and organizations, but what about the individual leader?
It is obvious that leaders can lead and develop organizations without having a vision for their own lives–but the result is most often wasteful and sometimes even disastrous.
Today’s Young Leader really doesn’t have the luxury of operating without a personal vision, because we lead best when we are leading from the core of our own personal vision.
The organizations that you lead and develop, even though they may be birthed in the womb of your imagination, will not be able to be nursed and raised by you because the milk of your creativity will not continue to flow to that which is not core to and encoded in your personal vision.
There is a high potential for creative burnout when we are leading teams and organizations to do task that really have nothing to do with our purpose.
Many Young Leaders birth ideas, teams, and even organizations that later die off due to lack of creative energy because the young leaders that started them did not birth the organization from the core of their own personal vision.
And without that ongoing vision flow, the organization perished or had to find another visionary to carry it to fruition. One whose personal vision was fulfilled in the completion of the organization’s objectives.
A paycheck can never replace a fulfilled purpose. And many Young Leaders find themselves feeling trapped in jobs or titles that pay their bills, but are antithetical to their purpose; often because they took the position before they had defined their own vision.
But how do you come up with a personal vision? What concrete steps can you take to arrive at a personal vision statement?
Let me give you three that will give you a head start on this process.
- Write a Mission Statement for Your Life.
Vision is the born out of the womb of mission. Once a young leader has discovered their own personal mission–why they are born, why they are here–then arriving at a personal vision becomes easier.
Answering questions like “What drives me?” “What wakes me up in the morning?” or “What gets on me last nerve?” can help you to discover your mission.
Through much prayer and self-examination, a mission can be discovered. Sometimes a season of quiet contemplation may be needed to find your mission, but it is well worth it as it is terrible to build an organization and find yourself unfulfilled leading something that you built, but sadly this is often the case.
- Locate Yourself.
Secondly, you have to do a cold and critical assessment of what you have currently achieved.
You can’t really use a map until you know where you are on it. In a large mall they have directories and maps everywhere that list all the stores and restaurants that are available and how to reach them. But these maps would be useless without the little star on them that always says. “You Are Here”
Before you can chart a vision forward, you have to determine where you are.
Don’t be deterred by where you are now but don’t allow denial to blind you either. Honest assessment let’s you know what goals may need to be first achieved in the persistent pursuit of your vision.
- Let Your Ambition Fuel You.
In some circles, “ambition” has become a dirty word. Some people think that ambition is in some way sinful or selfish. Yet I believe that sometimes God hard wires His will for our lives in our own ambitions.
When ambition is harnessed and tempered with unselfish motives, it can be both a positive and powerful force.
Not a force that drives you, but that fuels you to overcome the many challenges that confront your vision.
When ambition drives you, it can cause you to drive over people–to break critical rules and cut corners. But when ambition is used as fuel, it recharges you in the hard season and brings focus when distractions threaten to overwhelm you.
When ambition is aimed at positive goals, that benefit both society and Young Leaders, there is a real possibility of producing a personal vision statement that impacts other people’s lives for the better.