Whether we are talking about a church, a business, a military unity or a sports team, it all starts with having a “Vision Plan” to rally people around.

Author Marcus Buckingham defines a leader as “Having the ability to rally people to a better future.”

If we don’t know where we’re going (that better future) we very well might wind up somewhere else and be surprised at where we are and not know how we got there.

In the Triangle Illustration, there are four parts to having a vision plan:

     1.  Purpose

      2. Vision

     Where are we going?

      3.  Values

     What do we believe?

     4.   Strategy

      How will we get there?

So often teams and groups jump into activities (programs, events, great ideas) without having them anchored in a clear purpose, vision and values. I have seen this over and over.

Whatever kind of organization, group, church or company you lead or are a part of , the WHY needs to always be first, then comes: If we are successful at accomplishing our clear purpose, what will it look like (vision)? In fact Simon Sinek wrote a book titled “Start With Why.”

To help us in our pursuit of our end goals/desired outcomes, what will guide us in how we function and make decisions and who we decide to bring onto our team are our (Values).

When we have clarity on our PURPOSE, VISION and VALUES, we can then ask ourselves what we will actually focus on doing over the next 3 months, months or year. This becomes our strategic plan.

The best book (bar none) that I’ve read on this topic is “The Advantage” by Patrick Lencioni.

Here is my book note:

The Advantage

In my coaching practice helping a leaders to lead well, we go over this “Vision Plan” and I walk with them in thinking through the 4 parts and then stay with them as they implement with joy and excellence.

I recall a conversation I had with a leader a few years ago. He had just returned from a leadership conference where (as usually happens) he came home with all kinds of great ideas. When I asked him what the most important thing he learned was, he answered with one word:


I believe that building your work/ministry on these four four basic ideas will give you the clarity that is often missing.