When I was a kid, I was a mad scientist.
You know what I'm talking about, mixing household liquids and concocting potions that would create a monster if you got the combination just right. I blame Saturday morning cartoons in the 80's. In at least one of the cartoon episodes, every week, someone on the show would drink a potion that would transform them into something extraordinary.
Yup, it's all their fault.
Why? Because today, people who are in their 30-somethings are still trying to find that magical formula that will change their lives, jobs, marriages, and money situations. Every week, I talk to pastors who are looking to move their ministry forward. The problem? It takes away the opportunity to be intentional with our lives. It puts the fate of our next steps into the hands of something that doesn't carry any power at all. What we need isn't the "perfect mix" of ingredients, but rather an intentional, step-by-step process that will take us from the place of vision to the place of reality. Here's the precept I've employed as I intentionally move my ministry, and my life forward:
Your "What" will determine your "Win" and your "Win" will determine your "How."
Ask yourself, "What am I doing? How will that determine my win (result)? And how am I going to get it done?" I know it seems basic, but you would be surprised how many people struggle with their process because they get these 3 things out of order. Let's break it down further:
- The "What"
Your definition. This is where you define, as clearly and as specifically as possible, exactly what it is you're doing. This is the dream and the vision synthesized into a few meaningful sentences. Define for yourself, over and over, "What do I want to do?" Or rather, "What is God telling me to do?" Write it down and communicate it to your team. This will be your guiding focus throughout your entire process.
- The "Win"
Your activation. This is where you define what you want to achieve; your result. It's the endgame, the goal, the finish line. More than that, it's the after-effects of the accomplishment. It's what you want people to walk away with and it's the impact that causes ripples long after your "win" was achieved. Do this by using the "What" as guardrails as you pursue your "Win."
- The "How"
Your communication. You know what you want to do, what you want to achieve, and now you have to articulate how you are going to make it happen. I put this last because vision gives birth to result, not process. Process comes as a result of knowing how you want to start and how you want to end. And while the "How" is the final part of the equation, it's also the most important. This is where leaders get stuck. They know what they want to do, how they want to end up, but are scared of the process. Why? Because the process is person-driven. This is our part in the plan. God births the vision which in turn births the goal. The process is our part, and because we fail, are limited, and insecure, we run from the "How." Trust me when I say, "If God is faithful enough to give you the vision and the result, then He will be faithful to help you with the process." After all, this is the primary way God answers us when we ask Him to use us for His glory.
And there it is. Whether you're a mad-scientist or a 30-something still hooked on Saturday morning cartoons, everyone can run with this. I want to challenge you to allow God to help you use this in your life for the next season. I believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that not only will you live a more intentional life, but you will also be a more successful leader.