Good leaders have to see beyond the moment. There are certain urgent matters that all of us deal with, but whether you’re a school teacher, a pastor, an elder or a CEO, if you have people you shepherd, you cannot afford to get lost in the moment.
Scripture is replete with this teaching. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus calls this moment, “the worries of this life;” the wisdom of Ecclesiates names these moments “vanity of vanities” and the apostle Paul even calls our afflictions “slight and momentary.” All that to say, this moment passes. This life passes. Each of these wise teachers is directing us to the same thing: Live for something bigger!
And this is what leaders must never forget.
As a leader, I know this about you: You care deeply about every aspect of your organization. If you didn’t you would never rise to leadership. In your mind, if there were enough hours in the day, you’d invest as much as you could in every nook and cranny of your agency, church or organization. Not to control it, not to dominate, necessarily, but because you care. You care not just about the outcomes of the organization, but the people tasked to produce those outcomes. You want to know. You want to help.
That being the case, you must restrain yourself from over-investment in the mundane, in the day-to-day. And instead, you must remain constantly fixed on what Chip and Dan Heath call, your “DESTINATION POSTCARD.” No one else in your organization will do it, so you must! If you become overwhelmed with details that others could handle (and perhaps handle better), your entire organization will flounder. Your team will work for months or years and one day realize that they have little idea what they are doing, where there headed and how they got there – or didn’t.
At Redwood Church, that’s exactly what our staff is doing now; constructing our “destination postcard.” It’s a picture of what our organizational goal will be once we’ve done what we feel led to do. And I want to encourage you to do the same.
Here are the resources we’re using as conversation starters and pointers along out journey.
The Big Idea by Dave Ferguson and others