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8 Insights from Andy Stanley on Stating Vision Simply

Last night I listened to the latest episode of Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast (iTunes, RSS) titled Stating Vision Simply. It fit well with another article I read from Joel on Software called Figuring out what your company is all about.

I’ve decided I like Andy Stanley. ;) And I always knew I liked what Joel had to say on software. ;)

Here are some of the notes I typed out. Some are quotes, some are paraphrases.

Notes from Stating Vision Simply

  • Andy’s working definition of vision is “a mental picture of what could be . . . fueled by a passion that it should be.”
  • In order to accomplish at home what I wanted to accomplish at home that meant there were some things I might not be able to accomplish at work.
    • Vision pre-decides for us.
    • The clearer our vision gets, the fewer things we do and the easier it is to say no.
  • It’s gotta be simple, it’s gotta be portable, it’s gotta be repeatable.
  • It has to be transferable. Memorable is portable.
  • To make your vision simple, it can’t be complete. Complete is not memorable or transferable.

As reinforcement to crafting a simple vision statement, Andy asked what Barack Obama’s vision for his presidential campaign was? What was Hillary Clinton’s? John McCain’s?

Point taken. I knew Obama’s was “Change.” Couldn’t tell you what anybody else’s was. ;)

  • The larger the audience, the simpler it has to be. Every time you add a layer,  you have to add another layer of simplicity.
  • If you’re beginning with a fog, the best you’re going to communicate is a mist.
    • Before you can make vision stick, you have to have a clear vision yourself.

If it’s a mist in the pulpit, it’s a fog in the pew.
~Howard Hendricks

  • If you say everything, you say nothing. It’s not portable.

Portable and Memorable Vision Statements

To make poverty history (Bono’s ONE campaign).

Invest and invite (North Point’s evangelism strategy).

To create a church unchurched people love to attend (One of North Point’s early vision statements).

Help your users be awesome (the mantra of Kathy Sierra).

We help the world’s best developers make better software (the new tagline for Fog Creek Software).

My Personal Takeaway

From the podcast, I take away “Make it memorable. Make it portable.”

Also to take the time to get a clear vision. The quote from Howard Hendricks resonates with me.

It is worth the initial effort to determine a clear vision for yourself. Otherwise, you will inevitably waste time in the future doing things that are not getting you where you want to go.

Listen to the Podcast

Duration: 24:34 (download)

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