The Transfer Market

The central aim of every leader isn’t just to get vision, but to transfer the vision to the hearts of the people. If the leader’s vision becomes every person’s vision, the achievement levels will break all records. Vision creation is vital, but vision transfer is essential.

Before moving full steam ahead on any program it’s important to spend time and energy imparting vision. Some will never adopt it, and in rare occasions, only a few will run with it. For most part, the majority of the people will each be won over and become highly enthusiastic and highly sacrificial members of the greater church team.

It will not happen through a single vision Sunday, or by an expensive full colour brochure. It will happen through the creation and mobilisation of four groups of people within your church – vision casters, vision connectors, vision clarifyers and vision carriers.

Casting the vision is the primary call of every leader. It involves the public proclamation of the specific portion of the dream that we are called to attain in the next stage of the journey of the church and ministry. It’s not just a sermon. It’s not just a plaque in the entrance foyer. It’s laced through every message and every prayer. It’s behind every public face and found happening in every leader’s meeting.

Many leaders switch too quickly from getting vision to calling for commitment. By the time the minister announces the vision to the entire church, it should already have had the time to leak and seep into every person’s heart. Press leaks are a vital form of communication that can soften the starkness of the sudden presentation of vision and create a softer landing into people’s spirits. Vision casting is a conscious determination to soak every piece of ground with the declaration of new things to come.

In our church, we’re always casting vision. One day, our assessor for ‘Investors in People’ (a National award for organisational excellence) came to our church building called the Megacentre. He noted that the vision statement wasn’t on a plaque or cut into glass in our beautiful foyer. I replied that from the moment he walked in he was met by the vision. It was in the enthusiastic welcome, it was in the colour scheme, it was in the presentation and it was in the passion expressed in our commitment for Christ. Vision was being carefully cast not only through the preaching and the magazine but also through everything that could possibly demonstrate it.

Some people are born to be go-betweens. They’re people people. We all know them. They’re called to take the vision of the principle leader and sell it to the people. They’re contageous and energetic. They see every person as a potential carrier and fulfiller of all that the vision contains.

They spend their time connecting people with people and people with leaders. They love being the centre of attention and use it to their advantage to personally promote the vision.

Despite how well the vision is cast, most people don’t follow the leader. They follow those who follow the leader. Vision connectors are an essential group of people who both verify the authenticity of the vision and the credibility of the one casting the vision. They seem to turn up in all kinds of places and easily move in and out of all different types of people. Smart casters gather connectors.

My personality mix is melancholic – choleric. I not only want things done now, but also want things done right. Some of the people on my team that have become my best connectors have a sanguine personality type. My preciseness must annoy them and their un-structuredness sometimes annoys me. I fully realise though that my pragmatic nature plus their playful nature equals a great part of a great vision team.

Casters and connectors all need vision clarifiers. It takes a group of secondary leaders to fully clarify all that the vision entails. They’re the one’s who’s gift connects dot to dot. They ‘flesh it out’ and put ‘meat on the bone’. Without the clarifiers, people would be excited but have no steps to the visions fulfilment.

Clarifiers are strategists. They outline the journey and break it into bite size pieces. For most people, bite size is right size. They pace the journey without pulling it in a different direction. Clarifiers need to keep perspective and develop the capacity to see both the macro and the micro at the same time. Without them, much would be lost.

My clarifiers tend to be my leaders of management. It’s their role to lead the team who look at all of the details and inner tensions.

Recently, one of my clarifiers said he was torn between the contesting of two budget centres in the life of the church. As he spiralled into the micro, I was able to define the macro and we were able to define the priorities. His eye for details was assisted by my eye for perspective. Together, we also make part of a great team.

Most people in our congregation still have three locks on the front door of their lives. They’re in the process of undoing the lock of suspicion as well as undoing the locks of fear and doubt. While that is going on, their back door swings open to friends and trusted companions. Vision carriers have the ability of finding back doors and being invited in to share friendship and vision.

Carriers allow people to window shop their lives and their hearts and then allow people ‘in’ to browse around without any necessity to buy what’s on offer. They don’t sell – they spill. They rub off on people around a relaxed coffee and trade in heavenly commodities. They disarm people. Vision permeates.

Every vision caster and connector needs a band of carriers who will go out amongst the congregation and attract people to the vision. Vision carriers walk in a completely different way to the way I walk. They tend to mill around, yet I tend to zoom around. Their phlegmatic personality type is prone to losing daily sense of vision and purpose, but is by far made up by their ability to get into places cholerics and sanguines and melancholics are not allowed to enter. I live by my diary, yet they live by a spontaneity which lead Jesus to both Zachaeus and the woman at the well. Together, we also make an awesome part of the team.

Vision creation and vision transfer are the essentials of great leadership. To understand the different functions of vision transfer in your current team can be a liberating experience. Within every good team are a group of castors, a couple of connectors, at least one clarifyer and almost always a few carriers.

It’s time to fully explore the transfer market!

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