Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Mid Week Musings

Had our leadership small group this morning. Good times. We're working through Andy Stanley's The Next Generation Leader (thanks to Deurty for sending me this book as a blessing - these things have a way of multiplying).

Today got me thinking again about a subject that I've pondered before (usually stimulated by other's comments which have stuck with me). I suppose the question is really this: What is it that we leaders are doing when we fail in our vision-casting? The point is: we are doing something...and while we don't always fail in the absolute sense of the word, we know when something doesn't connect. So here's my work-in-progress theory (which I'm trying to discipline myself to write on): Most of us run of the mill leaders have a default tendency other than vision-casting when it comes to communicating what we know to be a God-inspired direction - within these tendencies we have strengths (thats why we do it) but in that these tendencies take us somewhere short of vision-casting they can cost us. The tendencies include:

  • The Information-caster - We confuse the detail of execution for the stuff of inspiration - so there is a plan but no one gets excited about it
  • The Values-caster - We embody the vision so well personally we assume that others will get it by watching us and by adopting the values and practices we champion - so people will follow us because we have integrity and fruit but they're not always sure where we're going
  • The Ideas-caster - We get so pumped up by the beauty and purity of an idea that we short cut painting the picture for others - so there's a lot of excitement and passion but not always the same level of clarity
  • The Relationships-caster - We are so energised by the people we serve that we forget to lead them - so while relational currency is strong and people feel cared for, they don't always sense the momentum of where we're going
  • The Commitment-caster - We major on the cost of vision and minor on the outcomes - so people are realistic about the work required but unclear about the pay off and motivated by guilt more than passion

Then there's taking the points of strength that each of these defaults offer and moving towards becoming better vision-casters. This will be a different journey for each leader.

So - I'd be interested in thoughts out there as I write these ideas up for wider dissemination. Does this ring true for you? Are there other categories? Your learnings in moving from one of these paradigms into the true vision-casting mindset?

Or if its crap - just say so!


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