A few weeks ago I shared an article on my business blog about the need for leaders to go back to basics and discover their vision. We are in a time when people need to see leaders step up to the plate and take action, especially at a national level where globally there is so much disunity, especially amongst the Body of Christ!
Strategy execution is important to taking action. However, before executing a strategy we need Vision. This speaks to purpose and our BIG DREAM. Many countries have forgotten the vision that their founding Fathers had for their countries and this is part of the problem for “without a vision the people perish” (Prov 29:18), or as one translation puts it:
“ Where there is no Revelation the people cast off restraint”.
But what happens if others seem unable to ‘see the vision’? Have you failed as a leader? This article presents 3 reasons why others won’t buy-in to a vision
Why can’t they see it?
As a leader I have been responsible for developing a clear vision for a department or organisation. I remember being in a strategy session with Senior colleagues and listening to them speak about the business. The focus was all about ‘fixing the problems’. I could see the problems but I didn’t lost sight of our purpose. I could see a BIG DREAM for what the Organisation could be and the impact we could make on the community. Only one of my colleagues could see the vision too. I spent a long time trying to persuade my colleagues as to my ideas. I wrote a paper, data and spoke passionately about the future I envisioned. Still no one was with us.
There are several reasons why people may not buy-into the vision. Great leaders should know what they are so they don’t beat themselves up unnecessarily. This article looks at 3 reasons.
1. Poor Communication Skills
I used to think if people did not see the vision that it was a deficit in my leadership skills. “Perhaps I didn’t communicate it well enough”, or wasn’t inspiring enough”.
As leaders we should also be learners. It is important to hone our communication skills. We need to ask
• Did people understand the vision?
• Did I explain it clearly? How could I have helped them to see it better?
• Did I connect with people and answer their questions or simply try to ‘beat them into submission’?
If communication is the reason people did not ‘catch the vision’ then you can learn to improve your communication skills.
2. Lack of Conviction
You would have heard me say that Purposed Leaders Inspire, Serve and Connect with others. Inspiration is not just about good communication. Inspiration is about conviction. As a leader who is seeking to communicate a vision for others to buy-into and follow you must believe in it yourself. Vision, comes from the heart not the head. It is not something we conjour up ourselves because it seems good to us or suits our ends. It is bigger than us.
If you were unable to get people to see the vision ask yourself where it came from? Were you forcing it? Are you passionate about it? What’s your motive for it?
A good way of discerning whether you are convicted or not is to think of it this way:
“Vision, like revelation, is caught”, not crafted”
You don’t ‘craft’ a dream your heart catches it and then you see it.
Fear may prevent people being able to buy-into the vision and it may also prevent you from sharing it with conviction.
Looking at the fear of others I’m, reminded of Moses sending out the 12 spies to the Promised land (Num 13 and 14). God had a BIG DREAM for Israel, to give them their own land, a land flowing with milk and honey. When the spies returned to Moses they said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.” Despite the facts, “the land was exceedingly good” only Joshua and Caleb could see the vision to possess. Joshua was passionate and persuasive in encouraging the children of Israel but because of fear they could not catch the vision.
We all feel fear, so seeing the vision before others doesn’t make us ‘better’ or more ‘spiritual’. Nor is it what makes you a good leader. What makes you a good leader is learning, as I did, that God meets us where we are at. If people cannot see the vision at a particular point in-time due to fear then likely they are not ready for it. Your job as leader is to hold onto that vision. To press in and hear God as to when is the right time to share it, unlike Joseph who shared his vision with unpleasant consequences. In the meantime prepare. Prepare yourself and your team as the vision waits for “the appointed time” (Hab: 2:3).