In part one of this post, we began to talk about those times in an organization when a vision hitchhiker becomes a vision hijacker. They consciously or unconsciously try to take the wheel and steer the organization in a different direction. So what do we do when we sense it may be happening? How do we keep vision hijackings from occurring?
Be Careful With New Leaders
Tenure does not guarantee leadership, but it does make it a safer bet. The old adage “hire slow and fire fast” applies most to leaders. We need to be slow in placing people into positions of power.
Confront Things and People Quickly
As leaders, we can never just stick our heads in the sand and hope vision issues will go away. They almost never do, without great harm. We can’t be cowards. We can’t be intimidated by big personalities, big givers, people with lots of influence, or long-tenured employees, citizens, or church members. We must confront vision drift quickly!
Provide a Place for Honesty
I have found that about 75 percent of the time, when I provide a safe place for a person to be honest about their struggles with the organization's vision, they will take the opportunity. The person sitting across from me during that conversation will often open up and say: “Well, now that you mention it, there are some things I’m struggling with.” Here we go. Now we are about to get honest. I’m not going to be defensive. I’m going to listen. I’m going to be calm...but I am also going to be courageous. They’be been honest, not it’s my turn. I will respond with both GRACE and TRUTH. We can have lots of opinions, but we are not waffling on the vision.
Be Willing To Let People Go
Not everyone is supposed to make the whole journey with us. Our responsibility is not to hang on to everyone. Our responsibility as the leader is to hang on to and steward the vision! If people try to hang on when we don't share the vision, they become miserable, and they make everyone else miserable! A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough! Love them. But let. them. go!
When we confront vision drift, we save lives and organizations. It’s as simple as that.
So go be mean about the vision!
I go into all of this in much more detail in my new book, Be Mean About The Vision.