Leadership, Pastors

Steve Jobs on Vision and Alignment- It’s Okay to Say “No”

There are few things more important to leading a church than a clear vision. As I look at the church in America, and I say this with sadness, it seems that most pastors simply do not yet get the concept of leading with vision and aligning church ministries to fulfill it. Either…

  1. They don’t have the ability to see a clear vision of the church’s future, or
  2. They lack the courage to lead the congregation toward that vision, which involves telling some people “no”.

There are pastors, however, who do get it and desire to truly lead. This is for you.

Here are some excellently stated thoughts from Tony Morgan about vision clarity and alignment…

“The only way things are going to change is if churches clarify where they’re heading and then make sure they’re fully-aligned to experience the intended results. Most larger churches are willing to engage the difficult and time-consuming process of ensuring full alignment of everything they’re doing behind a big vision.

Critical to alignment in any organization is routinely saying ‘no’ to good ideas. Here’s how Steve Jobs explained this critical piece of the culture at Apple:

‘Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea. And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important” (BusinessWeek Online, Oct. 12, 2004).’

In order to maintain alignment, many times you have to say no to expanding the vision. Many times you have to say no to adding a new ministry. Many times you have to say no to doing another special event. Many times you have to say no to communicating something to your entire audience. Many times you have to say no to good people with good ideas. Big churches get that. They understand that saying no helps the organization maintain alignment and creates opportunities to say yes to the things that will make a bigger impact.”

Read Tony’s full blog post here.

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2 thoughts on “Steve Jobs on Vision and Alignment- It’s Okay to Say “No”

  1. Pingback: In Honor of Steve Jobs | ryan gear

  2. Pingback: Thanks to Steve Jobs | ryan gear

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