How to protect the vision

blog video Oct 12, 2022

A healthy system requires two things: 

  1. Clarity = A clear picture of what we’re trying to achieve 
  2. Accountability = Actually implementing the action steps required to do reach that goal

One of the best ways to “guard the vision,” as you see from this list of 2 items, is to actually DO what you’ve declared you will do.

Remember, vision statements and value statements— in and of themselves— are only as powerful as the accountability we place around them. 

Here are three ways to protect that vision (we’ll drill down deeper on the third point, since it’s so important).


#1 = Pay attention to the “check” in your spirit.

When you pick-up on language, behaviors, body langue, or tone, pay attention.

Vision issues don’t disappear on their own. You’ve got to graciously address them. 

Note, some of this might be personal— and not professional. Be sure you’re spending time with your people so you know what’s happening in their personal life.


#2 = Confront vision “drift” quickly.

Don’t accuse people of being “off” vision. 

Rather, enter into conversations with them. The approach matters. 

Many times, this leads to a courageous conversation where breakthrough happens. 

Other times, we realize we’ve just misunderstood them— or that they’re struggling personally. 


#3 = Beware of “vision hijackers.”

One of the dangers of driving a car is hitchhikers— people you invite into your car who might intentionally divert it to a different destination. The same happens in organizations. 

Yes, people in organizations— even churches— try to jump into the “driver’s seat” and begin steering to an alternate destination. They reset the GPS. The create sideways movement. 

Remember, the more you continually keep people focused, the harder your vision is to hijack. But, they can still creep in, grab hold of the wheel, and push their own agenda… 

(Sometimes, they do this intentionally. Other times it happens unintentionally. Either way, we must deal with it.)

There are several ways you can keep “vision hitchhikers” from becoming vision hijackers.”

Here are five… 


#1 = Recognize that EVERYTHING is part of the vision.

The strategy is part of your vision. 

The messaging is part of your vision. 

The look and feel of your place is part of the vision.

Whereas no one will likely say, “I don’t support the vision,” they might say, “I agree with the vision, but I disagree with how we __________________.”

But implementation issues ARE part of the vision.

Each department— and every level in your organization (as well as HOW they do things) is part of the vision…


#2 = Be careful selecting new leaders.

You’ve heard the adage, “Hire slow, fire fast.”

Paul encouraged Timothy to be careful about empowering new leaders in the church (1 Timothy 5:22).

It’s easier to get divorced… before you get married.

It’s easier to part ways… before you hire someone.

We mention the four Cs— 

  • Character 
  • Chemistry
  • Capacity
  • Calling 

(See video 3 of module 2 in the Killer Teams Framework, “Four Questions Determine Who Stays,” for a more thorough overview of this— as well as video 2 of the bonus content  of Killer Teams, “How to Release Someone the Right Way.”)

Make sure you hire people who rank high on each of these four. Your team should replenish you— not drain you.


#3 = Say “No” early and often.

It’s easier to say “No” right now— as hard as it seems— than it is to say “Yes” right now and then come back and replace it with a “No” later.

Furthermore when you hire someone new (particularly if they’re a PRODUCT and not a PROJECT, as we discuss in video 3 of module 4 in Killer Teams, “How to Develop Leaders at Every Level”) make sure you give them time to see what’s been happening at your organization BEFORE you allow them to implement new suggestions.

Their suggestions may be spot on. And, if you’ve successfully recruited high-level talent, they most likely WILL be right— and will bring things to your attention that will accelerate your growth in fantastic ways while ALSO making things easier (remember lesson 14, about restructuring for growth, scale, and peace).;

But, a 90-day period usually makes those changes better, because they understand the WHAT and WHY of your organization at a deeper level, rather than just evaluating the surface-level HOW.

In other words, a “yes” later is often a better “yes” than you can give now.


#4 = Have the courage to let people go.

Many leaders believe they are one or two good hires away from reaching their organization’s full potential. In truth, they may be one or two fires away… 

Remember, everyone leaves your team at some point. We’re all serving in an interim capacity. 

So, steward them well. If that means you can steward them with you— and do so confidently— do so. If not, release them to move to a better fit for them. 

(See video 15, “How to Release Someone the Right Way.)


#5 = Don’t be a people pleaser.

God has not called you to please others, but to please Him. Yes, we want to honor others, but we serve an Audience of One. 

This means you may need to choose to be RESPECTED instead of being LIKED. 

(Oddly enough, if you choose correctly, both will come most of the time. But, if you choose wrong, both generally evaporate.)




For further reading, review the book Be Mean About the Vision

As well, this video comes from the Catapult course-- available on this site.