“There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.” - Seth Godin
In my line of work I have the privilege of hearing some pretty incredible ideas on a regular basis. I’ve also helped launch several substantive organizations, initiatives and campaigns.
I never tire of the electricity I feel pulsing through a dream as I sit quietly, listening to a ministry leader, Christian non-profit executive or pastor, telling me about that thing they just can’t stop thinking about.
It’s that beautiful part of the idea. The brainstorming, the what ifs, the big, big vision.
I’m a firm believer in dreaming out loud. Paint me a picture of what’s in your head—tell me what it might look like if all you’ve been imagining were to actually come to life. Tell me how it will grow your ministry, tell me how it will impact the Kingdom;
Yes, a million times, to all of this!
But, what about the steps beyond the dream?
What comes after the idea?
Often, this is where I see the breakdown.
When a leader has gotten the chance to fully share their vision with me, I usually then like to proceed to the next best step: asking really thoughtful questions. This is the best way to dig way beyond that surface level of “the idea,” and really get into the meat of it all.
- “How do you plan to launch the new initiative?”
- “What do you care most deeply about in your ministry vision?”
- “Is your organizational behavior actually authentically aligned with what you state you care most about?”
- “Could you please share some of the tactical details you are planning to execute for this vision?
Questions. Some, fairly simple, while others may prove to be genuinely challenging. Either way, the questions are always very telling.
And what I’ve found over time in working through our clarity and strategy process with countless leaders and visionaries is this: while many leaders have great ideas, few leaders actually know what to do with them.
While it is possible for ideas to develop into something real without “strategic development,” I wholeheartedly believe that ideas which are strategically developed have a much greater chance of yielding impactful results than those which aren’t.
Those are the dreams that are really given the fullest opportunity to manifest into something legit and impactful.
So here’s the one huge leadership truth you can’t afford to miss: Great ideas don’t just auto-magically become real. Infusing strategic development (including executable details) into your vision is the best approach to turning that vision of yours into reality. If you aren’t intentional about executing well, your ideas simply won’t materialize.
All of this is much easier said than done, for sure.
Oftentimes, this vital step of strategic development is completely overlooked. In fact, once we sit down and do the hard work of asking questions and digging and evaluating, many leaders tend to realize how little work has actually gone into clarifying their vision thus far, much less in actually formulating an executable plan to build it.
And I know that this can feel incredibly discouraging at the moment.
But, there is hope. It’s possible to slow down, to back up, or even to start from the ground up again—with strategy at the center this time. Any leader who is struggling with carrying a dream from an idea to a reality can always, always, improve how they approach developing their ideas—and so can you.
Simply remember that if you want your incredible, God-sized dreams to materialize, you must move beyond simply having strategic intentions, and become strategically intentional. There is a significant difference between the two. Strategic intentions may foundationally reflect great motives, but being strategically intentional is about having a solid plan and purposefully pursuing it.
At Resonate, we encourage big dreams every day, but we also help leaders cultivate habits, formulate plans and take action to achieve those dreams.
This looks different for everyone, so it would be nearly impossible for me to tell you what this process should look like for you without first evaluating and assessing your context. If you’d like to have a Zoom call to learn about how we can help you think and plan with strategic intentionality, please hit us up here.
But for now, my hope is to encourage you to dream, and remind you that good intentions alone … are simply not enough. Develop and cultivate the habits that will transform your ideas from nouns, into verbs.