Joshua Gagnon

thoughts on Jesus, leadership, and the Church.

Influence over authority

There have been tons of conversations about casting a compelling vision throughout the church, business, and leadership worlds - and rightfully so. Vision can inspire. Vision can unite. Vision helps us define wins and vision can can point people in the right direction.

Because I know vision is so important, early on at NLC all I did was try to attach people’s hearts to the vision and, often, it worked. People would hear me cast the vision, become inspired, and get on board, but it seemed like over time many would go missing. I would become so frustrated, asking myself, "How could they be so into NLC and our vision and just leave?" Have you ever asked that? Have you ever wondered to yourself: "They seemed all in, so how could they have left?"

It took me time to learn this, but I discovered the answer... People are inspired by a vision, but influenced by a person. People want to believe in their leader more than they want to believe in the vision their leader is casting. I’ve seen several leaders who stunk at casting vision but have people under their leadership that would run through brick walls for them. Why? They believe in the leader. They have been influenced by the person leading them. Think about your past... What job were you most committed to? I’d be willing to bet the job that you were most committed to also had the boss you were most positively influenced by. 

If you want those you lead to be more committed to the vision you're casting, they need to first become more committed to you.

In the church world, the equation for true commitment is:
God + Vision = I’m leaving to find a new leader.

Fortunately, there is another formula that also applies:
God + Leader + Vision = ALL IN.

Be a leader who is worthy of influence and you will naturally get commitment from those you are leading.