Effective leaders insure their team understands the organization’s vision for the future. Read Acts 1:4-8.
Jesus is making His farewell comments to His followers just prior to His return to heaven. Whatever He says to His disciples in these last few words will probably be remembered for the rest of their lives. He could have told the disciples how much He loved them and requested they remember Him. He could have given them more information on where He was going. He could have revealed more information about God. He could have given them some instructions on how to implement defensive measures to avoid the religious leader’s persecution. He could have said any number of things but the Bible tells us that Jesus used His last few words during His time on earth to communicate His vision for the ministry He was leaving in their care.
Identifying and communicating a clear vision is one of the most important functions of leadership. A clear, effective statement of vision not only states the goal and charts a course but also gives elements of the strategy to accomplish the goal. Jesus’ words in Acts 1:8 are a great example, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Jesus identified the source of power and the progression of steps starting locally and moving to more distant areas as the message is absorbed.
A few clicks on an internet search engine will give any leader the elements of a good vision statement. However, effectively communicating a vision is more than a list of what information to include, or signs on the office walls, or information in printed material or repetitive statements during employee meetings. To effectively communicate vision an organization must live out the vision it espouses. The organization must demonstrate that it means what it says in both the leader’s public decisions and private actions. An example of a well-articulated vision statement where the organization lives up to what it says is Wal-Mart’s “Low prices, every day”. Living out this simple vision statement has made Wal-Mart the world’s largest retailer.
Does your team seem to need constant direction on priorities? Does it seem like your team has trouble staying focused? Would your team be able to restate your organization’s vision statement? A vision statement compels people to do something, change something, and become something. A vision statement can transform an organization’s daily activity and create the potential for a future that is something strong and vibrant. For Jesus to use His parting words to impart vision should let every leader know the importance He attached to this element of leadership.
Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.”