The only thing worse than being blind is having sight, but no vision.
– Helen Keller
Bringing the vision to fruition is the desire of every organization. The vision is what we are pursuing. Yet sometimes, as organizational leaders, we get into a box. We begin to think there is only one way to do something. That’s when we need that light bulb to come on. We need something or someone to reveal there’s another way.
How do we change our minds? We may have to abandon a few things so we don’t have these assumptions. We may have to abandon our focus on predictions. It may be hard for your board, because that’s the way they’ve operated for all those years. What did we do last year? Well, let’s do that again but let’s one-up ourselves. If the only goal is to make it bigger and better, at some point we’re going to hit a ceiling. We’re only going to have so much money to bring in the next greatest banquet speaker, the best food, or get the next bigger place. What do we do when we run out of emotional hype, especially if there’s nothing of substance behind it? We need to abandon predictions and move into experimentation. It’s through experimentation that new ideas are born and new ways of doing things come about.
How are you going to bring your vision to fruition? How is that going to be achievable? What’s it going to cost? What kind of faculty or staff are you going to need? Who are you going to need to train? As you map out where you want to go, write down the questions that come to mind. God can handle the questions. The answers to those questions are the stepping stones to accomplishing your vision. They’re going to help you come up with priorities to accomplish the vision and your strategic plan.
For the past few years, we’ve been so reactive to everything. When is it going to be that we’re proactive on the front end instead of reacting to something that happens? To do that will require thinking ahead and trying to see what direction our “customers” are moving in.
Are we focused or unfocused? Are we structured or unstructured? There’s no time for us as non-profit organizations to be unfocused; there is too much at stake. Structure will help us build an organization that can stand when hard times come.
Your Team Will Help Fulfill the Vision
As we think about where we’re going, the big question amongst all those little questions is, “How are we going to get there?” Who’s going to do the tasks to get the priorities done?
The strategic plan God has for our ministry is bigger than us. If we’re building a plan that only we can do, we can expect to find God waiting in the wings saying, “Have at it. Because you’re building a plan that only you can do yourself.” We need to have God-sized plans. These will require us to develop a group of people to help us, whether they’re volunteers or staff. We need to find ways to delegate authority and build our team.
Dr. Kneeland Brown says, “You can choose to be a doer, where you just do and do and do everything. It’s a one-man show. Or you can delegate to your volunteers. The challenge there is that they’ll be coming back to you asking, ‘Now what?’ They’re focused on one assignment or task at a time. Or you can develop and build those people.” These are the volunteers who adopt the vision of the organization and run with it, leaving you to oversee instead of direct.
If God’s given us the vision and the plan for our organization, it’s going to take more than just us to implement it. Instead of sticking to our plans, we need to figure out how we can effectively experiment our way to success and be willing to modify and change as needed along the way. Is your heart open to change?
Twenty-five years of experience in management, fundraising, and supporting ministries is what you get when you meet Jack Eason.
A leader in building teams, and achieving goals, Jack co-founded The Heart Share Group with the purpose of helping organizations meet their full potential.