Why A Leader Often Needs To Be Mean

Being mean about the vision is not about being mean to people or being a mean leader. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite. If you look up the word mean in the dictionary, you’ll see several definitions. One of them says that to be mean is “to be offensive, selfish, or unaccommodating.” That’s the definition most of us think of first; but if you think more about it, that is not even the most common use of the word mean itself.  The other definition of the word mean is “to have an intended purpose.”  In this instance, the word mean has to do with intent.

We’ll sometimes say “What I meant to say was . . . ” or “I meant that as a compliment.” In these instances the word mean has to do with intent. That is what “being mean about the vision”  is all about.  Being mean about the vision is being intentional about the vision.

Why is is so important that we be intentional about the vision? The Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:18 that “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  In other words, where there is no vision, things dies and people die; maybe not physically, but in the Bible death is not physical. When Adam and Eve lost sight of God’s vision for them in the garden, They died; not physically, but spiritually, relationally, and emotionally. That’s how the Bible most often describes death.

Some of us know that the word vision in in Proverbs 29:18 is literally translated revelation. The New International Version translates this same verse like this: “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint” Proverbs 29:18 (NIV).  In other words, God also wants us to know that where there is a lack of a clear vision revealed by God for a person or organization, there is going to be less focus, more people running in random directions, and and more chaos that ensues!

This is why I believe vision is the most important thing in the world. We must understand, embrace, and align our lives and our organizations around God’s revealed vision for our lives and the organizations we lead! This is what it means to be mean about the vision. The question is how, right? How can we be more intentional about understanding, embracing, and aligning our lives and organizations around the vision? It takes me 224 pages to explain that!  You'll have to get YOUR copy of Be Mean About The Vision: Preserving and Protecting What Matters