"Vision doesn't stick; it doesn't have natural adhesive. Instead, vision leaks."
- Andy Stanley
This is a short and powerful book on getting your vision caught and stuck in your organisation. For such an important subject - what I would consider step one in setting a foundation for your organisation - this book is all of 72 pages.
The thing is, although vision is simple to explain and, as Andy details in this book, only needing a few principles to keep vision strong, vision is endlessly difficult to clarify, implement and make stick. Vision leaks and therefore you need to constantly be filling the tub making sure the level is kept high.
This book will not help in developing a vision and Andy suggests the first thing to do is to sit with your leadership team to create the picture of "your preferred future". I like to say "what you want to be when you grow up". What will your organisation look like in 10 years?
Once you have your vision statement, this book is there to help you keep vision stuck in the hearts of your people.
At the time of writing this book Andy has 25 years of experience working with and refining vision for his now 450 staff serving over 30,000 people each week across multiple locations. He sums up his experience with five things to help vision to stick.
||State the vision simply|
||Cast the vision convincingly|
||Repeat the vision regularly|
||Celebrate the vision systematically|
||Embrace the vision personally|
I can say that Andy is one of the best examples of leadership I have seen. For me, he has discussed and illuminated areas of leadership very few even know exist. Andy thinks deeply about leadership and the human condition and like his friend, John Maxwell, is considered one of the great thought leaders on leadership.
Seeing his team in action is an awe inspiring experience. It's incredible to see several hundred volunteers unified around a vision and working tirelessly to carry out that vision. That experience showed how important a clearly communicated, simple and sticky vision is.
Here are quotes from each item.
"People don't remember or embrace paragraphs, they remember and embrace sentences"
"It is better to have a vision statement that is incomplete and memorable than to have one that is complete and forgettable"
"You have to present people with a reason for your vision. You have to answer the questions: why must we do this? Why must we do this now?"
"they already know there is a problem... what they need is someone to give them a reason to rise up and do something about it."
||"We all need to be reminded why we are doing what we are doing. We need to be reminded what's at stake. We need to be reminded of the vision"
|Celebrate Systematically||"Here's an organizational principle you don't want to lose sight of: What's celebrated is repeated"
"If you say you believe in something, live it out. And live it in a way that the people around you can see it."
"Everyone gets tired and distracted at times. Admitting it is healthy and will give your inner circle permission to admit it to you as well"
Another quote or two:
|"what people complain about communicates their understanding of the vision"
|"If God has given you a picture of what could be and should be, embrace it fully and refuse to all ow the busyness and urgency of life to distract you"
If you have a great vision and can't seem to make it get traction through your team - like so many I know - this book is a must read.