One of my favorite leadership events is the Global Leadership Summit hosted by Willow Creek Community Church pastor, Bill Hybels. The Summit occurs the second week of August in Chicago, but there are remote video simulcasts in cities all over the world.
Every year, Bill opens the Summit by sharing what he has been learning as the leader of a large organization. I will never forget the time Bill talked about, what he referred to as, the basic job description of every leader: To move followers from here to there. Sounds pretty simple. However, there are three critical nuances to doing it well.
A Compelling Vision
A leader must be able to paint a picture of a future state we cannot fathom missing out on. This vision must address basic questions:
- Where is "there"?
- Why are we going "there"?
- What's wrong with "here" (after all, it used to be "there")? Why is it no longer the place to be
- What's in it for me? (It sounds selfish, but trust me, folks want to know.)
A leader must continually cast and re-cast the vision. People forget, or at least get fuzzy, on why we are going "there". The leader may get tired of talking about it, but followers need to be reminded often. Get good at your vision re-cast speech. Make it short, engaging, and compelling. And give it often.
Resources Follow Vision
A leader will have a difficult time attracting resources (e.g., money, volunteers, engagement) without a vision. However, when the vision is compelling and clear, people will gladly commit their resources to it.
So, if you want to lead well you must get really good at casting vision. Put yourself through a simple audit and evaluate your "Here to There" talk. Would you follow you? The stronger your vision, the more followers and resources you will inevitably attract. Go forth and launch!
Related Resource: To learn more of Bill Hybel's leadership lessons, read his book Leadership Axioms: Powerful Leadership Proverbs. With short chapters and rich content, it could serve as a great playbook or study guide for your leadership team.