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Vision and Big Goals – Dreaming is abundant and free

June 6, 2013

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak to a local civic club regarding a trip that I’m involved with. The more I prepared the presentation, the more I realized how important it is for any organization, church, business (large and small) and even individuals to have and keep a big picture of things.

So even though my talk involved an outreach trip to central Africa, the take away really reflected the importance of vision and goals. Below are some perspectives that I’ve acquired over the past few years.

1. I’d rather fail than succeed at something that doesn’t matter:

Sometimes we rush to just “do” something. It makes us feel better. Or we spend much time and resources accomplishing projects that, if we step back and evaluate, really didn’t change much (for us personally, our organizations, our families, or anyone else’s quality of life.) I’d rather give and work toward something that is meaningful. Not everything we do can be exciting, glamorous, or highly profitable in a materialistic sense. But everything we do should probably matter to somebody.

2. Dream and Dream Big. It costs absolutely nothing to dream:

I don’t mean just “think out of the box.” I mean evaluate your surroundings, identify real problems, and don’t be afraid to come up with huge solutions (even if common sense tells you it’s impossible.) Dreaming is abundant and free. Take time to dream and make time to dream. As organizations and committees age, it’s easy to fall into a rut or depend on what’s worked in the past and repeat. This is dangerous. Over time vision and mission can just shrivel up and die. Organizations can quickly fall into maintenance (and eventually crisis/survival) mode. Often they struggle to just stay alive long after they’ve forgotten why they exist. And who wants to be a part of that? When vision and mission gets lost, there is nothing worth while to invite new participants to.

Most people are attracted to missions that are worthwhile. I’ve found that people are more eager to join, willing to participate, and are more generous with their time and resources if the vision and goal is important, impactful, and clearly articulated. If you find that it takes increasingly more arm twisting to motivate people to join and actively participate, then maybe it’s time to seriously re-evaluate and update vision and mission then probably re-construct goals and activites. Don’t be afraid to celebrate and retire outdated, irrelevant, or ineffective activities that might be a drain on resources and roadblocks to something spectacular.

3. Create at least one BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

OK, It’s great to dream big dreams, but only fools live there. There does come a point where dreams must get distilled into something to go after. A clear target to shoot at. It still might be huge. It still may be beyond our individual efforts or resources, but it’s identifiable. It can be articulated. What’s your BHAG? Always keep one goal that’s a little beyond your reach.

4. Never start with budget:

As important as budget is, it can kill vision and creativity if it is used early in the process. Often times we sit down in committees and look at our allowance and try to determine what can be done with a certain amount of money. Always start with vision. Take time to accurately and realistically assess problems and needs. Identify goals and activities that actually accomplish a mission. Then determine what it will take to achieve those goals so that what you do matters. When this is done, THEN evaluate approaches and options thru the reality of budget. You might find that your budget is inadequate. Do you need to raise more money? Maybe if the project is really worthwhile, you’ll eagerly sacrifice other areas in the budget to bolster the new idea. (If not, then maybe the idea isn’t so hot after all) Maybe you need to dream some more. Or maybe you need to strategically align your organization with other organizations to pool more resources to make something important happen. Or maybe the trigger shouldn’t get pulled right away – it would be more beneficial to save more cash or implement the project in phases as money comes in over time. Just don’t begin with budget and don’t start projects just for the sake of “doing something”.

  1. Hey Gary…loved your post! I always remind myself that everything that is visible started invisible! Thanks for sharing! Keep Dreaming!

  2. garyyonek permalink

    Thank you Luke. That’s a great reminder.

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