MAKING VISION STICK Session #5 Celebrate it systematically Leaders need to celebrate
the vision systematically. We need to pause from time to time
to celebrate wins. We need to acknowledge
what’s been accomplished and we need to acknowledge those who
have contributed to our progress. I’m convinced that celebrating wins accomplish more to clarify the vision
than anything else. The tricky thing about vision is that
it’s made up of words and word pictures. There aren’t any photographs.
After all, vision is about the future. That makes it difficult for leaders
to get everybody on the same page. However, from time to time,
you’ll see somebody in your organization do something that lets you know
that he really understands it. You can’t miss the opportunity
to highlight what he’s done and then celebrate it publicly. Nothing clarifies vision
better than a living example. Something that underscores
exactly what you’re talking about when you cast your vision. Several years ago, I received an e-mail from a mother in our
church who had a son in the 5th grade. Her son’s Sunday
morning group leader, Greg, had been deployed to active military duty
during the course of the school year. This mom e-mailed me to say that Greg had
continued to stay in contact with her son even from his deployment overseas. He actually called her son from Turkey. I shared her e-mail with our staff which,
of course, reinforced the fact that we’re constantly casting vision
to our small group leaders about maintaining relationships with kids
outside of the Sunday morning context. That was a huge win. When Greg returned from his deployment, I asked if I could share his story
with our entire church from the stage. I chose a Sunday when
we were recruiting volunteers for the upcoming ministry season. Toward the end of the service,
I read the mother’s e-mail. As you can imagine,
everyone was moved by the story. But what the congregation
didn’t know, however, was that Greg was sitting in uniform
in the front row of the auditorium. I asked him to stand
and people went crazy. That year, we needed
to recruit about 1,300 volunteers. Following Greg’s example,
more than 1,700 people signed up to serve. As you already know, e-mails and success
stories like that don’t come along everyday but when they do, we have to look
for ways to leverage them. Every month, I lead a staff meeting for
our employees from all of our campuses. This usually includes about 400 people. I begin our time with this question:
What happened yesterday or last week, that made you feel you were successful
in what you came here to do? What happened yesterday or last week, that made you feel successful
in what you came here to do? Then, I just allow people
to tell their stories. As people get up and share,
I follow up their stories by tying them back to
our organizational vision. I say things like, “That’s exactly what we’re talking about
when we talk about apprenticing.” Or “That’s exactly what we mean “when we talk about
making a specific relational connection.” Their stories provide me
with opportunities to underscore vision and value
and to say: “that’s the bullseye on the target.
That’s the win.” Nothing gives definition to vision
like pausing to celebrate a win. Within the rhythm of your organization, you have to figure out
how to celebrate the wins and how to celebrate them
systematically. I know from countless conversations
that some leaders think that celebrations are really
just a total waste of time. But here’s the thing: When you celebrate the right thing
in the right way, you are using the most effective
form of vision casting. Celebrations create
a moment of enlightenment in a way that words alone just can’t.
Here’s the thing: Every organization celebrates something. You may not stage a celebration, but the people in your organization
are celebrating something. The question is:
What are they celebrating? More importantly,
what should they be celebrating? What do you wish they would celebrate? Here’s an organizational principle
that you never want to lose sight of: What is celebrated is repeated. The behaviors that are celebrated
are the behaviors that are repeated. The decisions that are celebrated
are repeated. The values that are celebrated are the
ones that your people actually embrace. If you intentionally or unintentionally celebrate something that is in conflict
with your vision, the vision won’t stick. Celebrations trump motivational speeches
every single time. Ultimately, to make vision stick,
we must connect vision to celebration. The way you do that is to draw attention
to the people who are getting it right. A win that reflects vision
creates an illustration of what you’ve been trying to say
like nothing else does. Figure out a way
to celebrate those successes and figure out a way
to celebrate them systematically. Subtitles by the community

Making Vision Stick | PART 5: Celebrate It Systematically
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