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Principles of Effective Leadership - Lesson 16

Vision and Leadership

A Mission is a philosophic statement that answers the question, “Why are we here?” Vision is a strategic statement that answers the question, “Where are we going?”

John  Johnson
Principles of Effective Leadership
Lesson 16
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Vision and Leadership

Vision and Leadership

Introduction: (Class begins with a 10 minute promotional video, that was not available to us, about the founding of a bible camp at Hume Lake)

I. What is vision?

A. Ability to see into the future

B. Mental picture

II. Difference between mission and vision

A. Vision flows out of the mission

B. Mission is "why," vision is "where are we going"

III. How do you gain a vision?

A. Go to the mountain

B. Engage in collaboration


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Class Resources
  • The great hope of the world is the church and the great hope of the church is great leaders.

  • Leadership is difficult to define. It is a mixture of science and art.

  • An institution doesn’t necessarily die, but it will tend to die without good leadership.

  • Leaders shape the values of an organization, bring together a common vision, act as catalysts and keep things going. Four important aspects of pastoral leadership are prophet, priest, sage and king.

  • Are leaders born that way or is leadership an acquired skill? The people who think it’s innate believe that leadership is revealed in crisis not produced by crisis. Some people say it’s acquired because it is an ability that anyone can learn. Some people say leaders are summoned by circumstances and rise to the occasion.

  • A person will only excel by amplifying strengths never by simply fixing weaknesses. Your personality does not change as you grow. Once you find your sweet spot, spend the majority of your time working on your strengths. Convergence is where your greatest passions and strengths line up with the greatest opportunity.

  • Every leader must understand the context in which they work in order to be effective in having the impact they desire. Three contexts you face as a leader are cultural context, social context and situational context.

  • When you are identifying the social context of a group, it is important to recognize the structural, human resource, political and symbolic aspects of the group.

  • The situational context can be described by saying that leadership style must match follower readiness. We have influence with someone when we adapt our behavior to the performance needs of the individual.

  • One of the greatest challenges of leadership is self-leadership. We can only take people as far as we are willing to go ourselves. Core values are our inner beliefs, not what people think we are but what we know we are.

  • Three core values of a leader should be humility, compassion and courage.

  • It’s important to have values and skills. Values are critical but they aren’t enough. There will be some variation in the way leaders express these skills that will depend on their personality.

  • Good leaders apply their values and skills effectively as they think and analyze situations intuitively. Building and working with teams is an important element of being a successful leader. 

  • Having good people on your team is important because the team is only as strong as the weakest link. Get the right people on your team and the wrong people off your team. Trust lies at the heart of a functioning team.

  • It is essential to have a mission that defines the key objectives. Key elements of a mission statement include one that is focused, inspiring concise and memorable.

  • A Mission is a philosophic statement that answers the question, “Why are we here?” Vision is a strategic statement that answers the question, “Where are we going?”

  • The further you can look back, the deeper you can look into the present enables you to better look out into the future. Great leaders don’t impose a vision, they liberate the vision that’s inside their constituents.

  • Without an effective strategy, a vision will lack credibility and remain an illusion.

  • Identifying objectives is the process of moving from vision to reality. Objectives are the tactics employed to carry out the strategies, the action plan of what needs to happen now. Decisiveness is an important quality of a good leader.

  • Leadership is transformational by nature. Leaders are those who are committed to deep changes in themselves and those they lead. Change equals dissatisfaction plus vision plus strategy plus support systems that overcome resistance.

  • Expect challenges because it’s normal for people to challenge those in leadership. Good leaders are able to adapt to challenges and learn from them. We will eventually leave what we are leading, so do what you can do to lead in a way that will make the transition easier. The most significant test of leadership is not present performance but the legacy you leave behind.

This is a core leadership course designed for those who intend to be future leaders in ministry. This course will move from definitions to the core values of a leader; how to take a ministry through a vision process; engage in strategic planning, decision-making, and implementation; build great teams; work through conflict and change; delegate tasks; and effectively mentor the next generation of leaders. Models from the corporate, political, and military worlds will be compared and contrasted with biblical definitions and illustrations of leadership.

You may download the complete set of Dr. Johnson’s notes as a pdf. Since this class was presented during a condensed time frame, Dr. Johnson does not comment on all the points in his notes. We have provided the full text of the notes for your benefit. Click on the Class Outline link under Downloads.

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