Why Leaders Fail – No Direction. No Service.

I’m not one to focus on the negative, but over the next few weeks. I’m going to be doing a series of posts on “Why Leaders Fail.”  The goal is not to focus on the failure, but rather focus on what we can do to succeed as leaders.  I believe that God gives every person the capacity to lead, but it’s up to each person to steward the gift of leadership that God has given them.  With that said, here are the four posts on “Why Leaders Fail”:

  1. No Direction.  No Service.
  2. The Know-It-All Syndrome
  3. Lone Ranger and No Tonto
  4. The Intoxication of Saying “Yes”

This week, we want to start with “No Direction. No Service.”  The role of a leader is, and always will be, completely tied to vision.  Without one, I would argue you can’t have the other.  Unfortunately, though, people can be given ‘leadership’ titles or roles without vision.  In those situations, people serve in the role of a leader, while not operating in the function of a leader.  Leaders aren’t those that get things done, but rather those that inspire and lead others to do what they couldn’t have done on their own.

To lead without vision, is not to lead at all.  So what does it take to create, cast and pursue vision for your leadership role?  Here are a few helpful things to do:

  1. Pray.  God is the ultimate giver of vision.  To try to create vision apart from his working is to limit the scope of your vision.  In our humanity, we can only see so much – God sees the whole picture.  Tap into his vision and you’ll tap into a world beyond your own understanding.  Ask God to give you a vision, direction and passion for your area of influence/ministry.  What does God want you to do?  And what does he want your ministry to look like?
  2. Plan.  Start to write down what God is speaking to you and what is on your heart.  If you can’t write it down, it’s not clear enough yet to be communicated to others.  You can pray for some great things, but start to put plans to your prayers.  Vision without plans is simply dreaming.  If you truly want to see your vision realized, you have to start to put plans in place to execute it.
  3. Pursue.  Don’t just be a big talker.  Start to build a team (something we’ll look at in a couple weeks) around that vision and begin executing the plans you’ve put in place.  To accomplish your vision (if it’s God-sized), it’s going to take a lot of perseverance in your pursuit.  There may be obstacles, but continue pursuing.

These are a few thoughts on creating vision.  As a leader, here is my challenge:  Don’t just lead people, but lead people toward something.  As you do that, you may be surprised and actually reach the destination you and your team set out toward!

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