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!

Dr. Jim Marocco – Vision

I am at a leadership event today at Freedom Valley Worship Center in Gettysburg, PA to hear Dr. Jim Marocco founding pastor of King’s Cathedral in Maui, Hawaii and has helped plant hundreds of churches all over the country and the world.  Below are some quotes from his first session:

  • The greatest key for ministry is how you see.
  • Vision is progressive.
    • Work without vision is drudgery.  Vision without work in lunacy.
  • Everything you do starts with vision.
  • How do you get vision?
    1. Through a burden. (Nehemiah 1:3-4)
    2. Through a challenge. (David & Goliath)
    3. Through a prophetic word. (Paul’s call to the gentiles)
    4. Through an experience. (Moses & Joshua, Elijah & Elisha)
      • Being in an environment where vision and growth are present.
      • Experiencing vision vicariously.
  • True vision is a work of the Holy Spirit.
    • It doesn’t just come from your charisma, it comes from the Holy Spirit.
  • To acquire vision, we need to seek the Lord.
  • Every good pastor needs to have the gift of faith and the gift of leadership.
  • Be wise with your vision.  Know that not everyone will be able to grasp or handle the vision God gives you.
  • You communicate vision to the degree that people are able to perceive it.


Question…What happens when a pastor has no vision?

Question…Does this really result in no vision at all?

Question…Can a group of people ever gather together without vision?

Question…If the pastor has no vision, then what vision are people following?

Question…What vision are your people following?

or a better Question…Who’s vision are your people following?

Confidence As a Leader

I have read a number of writings explaining how many leaders lack vision.  I would definitely agree, but I believe a secondary hindrance to growing an organization is not necessarily a lack of vision but a lack of confidence in the vision.

Something I’ve learned is that I will be most passionate and assertive with those things I am most confident in. For example, when in high school I experienced some resistance by our school administration in establishing a Bible Club.  I had just done a lot of research for a paper and new the law in this area inside and out.  My confidence on the topic was great therefore my ability to defend it was great.  Without that confidence I would have been apprehensive at best.

Too many leaders aren’t necessarily lacking vision, they’re lacking confidence in their vision.  How does that confidence come?  It comes when we own the vision personally. When it’s something flowing out of our very being!  If we can own the vision personally, we will share it with passion and be able to defend it with a unique intangible called confidence.

What’s the vision for your organization?  Are you confident in that vision?

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑