In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
— Jesus of Nazareth

Promise.  Directive.  Promise.

You are gonna find trouble, but don’t worry about it, because I’ve already taken care of it.  Everybody feel better?

Despite the fact that we’ve been told that there is going to be trouble in this life, even as Christians, we seem to be surprised by the trouble or challenges we face.  On a recent Andy Stanley podcast, he talked about leadership in uncertain times and he remarked that leadership is precisely what is required.

He talked about three important things to remember in times of uncertainty:

  1. Have clarity of mission
  2. Be flexible with plans
  3. Maintain transparency in communication

In the certain, stable, and still-watered times, you simply need a good manager or someone to stay the steady course.  The problem is, if we are intending to change lives, to bring transformation to the organizations and lives we have stewardship over, we will face certain and almost continual opposition.  We should almost expect that trouble, trial, and uncertainty would be the context of our every day existence.  The real question becomes whether or not we can take the directive (Take heart!) and trust in the promise (I have overcome the world).

At Southwest Exteriors, we are deep into the EMyth/SummitTrek transformational tract.  Having spent some time on a Vision construct where we got serious clarity on our five year vision with an inspiring, tangible, and well-defined picture of our future, we moved on to Organizational Strategy.  We drew a chart of what this visioned picture of the future would look like.  If we started from scratch with no employees, but that vision of the future, what would it look like?  If we started with nothing, how would staffing, work flows, and function reporting responsibilities lay out?

We’re beginning to write Result Statements and then we’ll construct Position Agreements and start to map a clear path from our present state and employee base to a future reality with clearly defined positions to fill.  An interesting byproduct of this exercise has been the disruption for good that it has produced.  With aggressive sales targets and a desire to make changes in how we produce our work, the future organizational chart and associated goals is inspiring, but daunting as well.

The overwhelming question that has emerged from this exercise has been this:

How do we protect and maintain our culture when we ascend to an organization that large?

In trying to answer that question, we have had a stunning set of conversations and have made a lot of changes.

  1. Have clarity of vision.  We’ve dug our heals in, gotten more bold in our declaration of mission.  Become even more convicted about who we are and what we know the Lord intends for our mission.
  2. Be flexible with plans.  Not only have we been flexible with our plans, we have made significant staffing changes to confirm convictions around our vision.  At the senior leadership level, we need people who not only understand who we are, but epitomize it, and actually help advance the culture independently.
  3. Maintain transparency in communication.  We talked to the entire company on Friday about the changes we made in staffing and that we need team members that are actively engaged in the mission of the organization.  We told them we need to move the disengaged to engaged and move the actively disengaged team members off the bus.

The English say, “May we live in uncertain times.”  Well, I would say that we are in uncertain times whether we like it or not.  Get clear, be flexible, and speak with honesty and transparency.  Your future depends on it.  And take heart, He has already overcome this world.

  1. Are you clear on the future vision for your organization?
  2. Do you have it articulated and fleshed out clearly enough that making changes to current and future plans are easily managed?
  3. What are you willing to do to arrive at the kind of clarity that will withstand and allow you to thrive through these uncertain times?

If you are really serious about getting this right.  Let us know, we can help.