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Breaking the Leadership Trap

By Doug Franklin May 11, 2010

Yesterday I wrote about how doing the right things in leadership will sometimes lead our organizations into mediocrity and stagnant growth (see blog post Leadership Trap). Today I want to write about what we can do to break out of the leadership trap. The first action we need to take is identifying where our organization is in terms of development. Are we in the pattern stage or the routine stage or the “we been doing it this way forever” stage? Once we have identified the stage we must inject vision. Vision is the key to breaking mediocrity and energizing growth.  Leaders, if you are building an organization or maintaining one, you can never neglect vision.  Remember great vision inspires rejection; even Jesus understood this. When injecting vision into an organization there will be push back, whining and general child-like foot stomping because we don’t like change and vision brings change. (The only time followers like vision is at the beginning because they get to own it.  This is a key for us in church; most people don’t join a church’s vision they join its programs. Then churches struggle to understand why people won’t get on board with its goals.)

If you plan on following this strategy of re-casting your vision, don’t make the classic mistake of vision casting for the whole organization. Go to people in small groups and one-on-one and explain where you are in the leadership trap, secure their agreement that things need to change, then re-cast the vision.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More