January 14, 2018 • Life for Leaders
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’”
We are in a brand-new year filled with new potential and opportunities. Many of us are embarking on the fourteenth day of fulfilling our New Year’s Resolutions—eating healthier, building an exercise regiment, pursuing new goals. For leaders, this time of year is the perfect opportunity to reevaluate ongoing projects, outline new goals, and even reflect on leadership styles. As a vision management consultant, I work with a lot of leaders who have brilliant and well-intentioned ideas. However, good motives and great ideas don’t always equate to “mission accomplished.” Most leaders operate at the 30,000-foot level, seeing the big picture. Faith and resilience are among the greatest characteristics that make a leader invaluable to any plan. Yet when it comes to details and organization, we can sometimes be lacking. The phrase that comes to mind is: “the devil’s in the details.”
Many visions and projects remain incomplete because of one of two things: (1) faulty founding concepts or (2) poor execution. For believers, we can rest assured that every vision or project from God passes the first test—Kingdom concepts are powerful and accurate concepts. That leaves poor execution as the usual suspect for the downfall of Christian visions. Chaos, disorganization, and lack of direction often stall the progress of many projects. And these characteristics are often found among leadership. Reflect on incomplete projects from the past—was the vision built on a solid concept? Did you have a plan that was clear and concise so that others could easily assist in executing the project? Could those that you lead quickly identify the mission statement and resonate with the intention of the vision?
In Luke 14, Jesus begins to discourse with the people about the cost of discipleship. During this dialogue, he presents the idea of someone building a tower without counting the cost—drafting a detailed plan and accurately assessing what it would take to complete the task. He draws a picture of shame and embarrassment that the project manager feels when the job is unfulfilled. While Jesus was talking about counting the cost in following Christ, the same principle applies to leadership. As we embark on new projects this year, we must first construct a blueprint or plan that will inform our followers and partners about what we are building, how we will build it, and what it will take to complete it.
In this new series, I will share practical steps that leaders can take to execute their visions. We will also discuss general ways that leaders can interact with their teams to accomplish goals with excellence and efficiency. My hope is that, by the end of this year, you will look back and notice an improvement in your vision success rate. Happy New Year, and let’s embark in this Kingdom journey together!
Father, thank you for this new year! Your faithfulness has brought us into a new year, and it will be your grace that will cause us to excel in every task that you give us. Teach us how to be better stewards of your works in us. Guide us towards your more efficient path as we lead others to fulfill the desires of your heart. Where there was shame in incomplete tasks, replace it with your loving correction, instruction, and hope. Let us be victorious this year. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.