This last month that was one of my greatest learnings…
You can have literally the best idea in the whole world, you can communicate it with all the style and grace imaginable, but if you have not people, you have nothing.
I’ve said it to a couple different groups of people now-the staff team I’m a part of, a group of volunteers during a training event and then I think I may have given the same speel to the entire church that we lead but what I’m learning last month, this week, this moment is:
You can have the most tremendous vision in the world, but if people aren’t invited along, have as much buy-in as you do and you are all moving together, then you will simply be alone on an island called vision. And that’s not where any of us want to be as leaders.
Most of what I’m talking about has to do with leading change, by the way. And now that I’m finally reading John Kotter’s seminal work by the same name-things are beginning to come into even greater focus.
The Kotter model has to do with an 8-step process for leading change and one of the “unskippable” early steps is creating a coalition for change… WITH at least some people who have power.
Before finally stealing this book from another pastor, I had been listening to an Andy Stanley podcast wherein he was interviewing the former Home Depot CEO, Frank Blake.
Blake gives yet another tremendous model, equation rather, that supports the same principle; he says:
i X a = e. OR
IDEA times ACCEPTANCE equals EFFECTIVNESS.
In other words, we as leaders often get trapped in our little vision caves where we fully orb this new idea, change effort or cultural direction and it is birthed in a vacuum of 1.
We then run out and tell the world about it, praying for a mutual sense of excitement, and yet how could they-they had no hand in the evolution of this idea?
Blake suggests getting the idea to 80% and then inviting the “coalition” or the people or the team or the influencers in and together forging the last 20%. In this way we will be working toward far greater impact and effectiveness.
So I have this book, I have my podcast and yet I have another source of input waking me up to this principle over the last few weeks.
A friend, and fellow leader at our organization, came along and said, ‘Ben I think you just need to over-communicate in this season of change.’
He went on saying, ‘people here have experienced haphazard and chaotic change-making processes that leave people somewhat sensitive to any sort of change.’
This, on top of the fact that most of the known world is change resistant already! (Despite the classic saying that change is perhaps the only constant in life!).
In your leadership wherever you are-family, church, business-learn from these greats and from my mistakes and:
1. Build a coalition for change (that includes at least some people with real power)
2. Work toward more acceptance by inviting people into the creative processes earlier
3. Over-communicate. I’ll use a recent quote a heard (Craig Groeschel via Thom Rainer from Groeschel’s latest podcast post on developing leaders):
As people are learning, they are forgetting.
This is especially true within the context of fresh vision and leading change, because we already have a natural sense of resistance.
I love and appreciate you all.
If you haven’t seen my last post, please look at it and even scan to the end: I am requesting some census data on the book you would like to read next! DO IT AND HELP A BROTHER OUT!