Systems, not vision, determine the sustainability of your dream. This has been a difficult lesson for me to learn, but over the years, I have met many visionary leaders whose dream grew to a fraction of their potential because of the lack of an environment where the vision could thrive.

Systems vision leadership

Vision must come first in any organization, otherwise systems tend to get a life of their own and become what we hate the most about government: bureaucracy, a means into itself, a self-preserving, self-entitled nothingness.

However, vision without systems is like a train without tracks. In a growing organization, sustainability means understanding strengths, threats, opportunities, trends and how to design organizational culture and procedures to address them. I've heard someone put it this way: what determines your product is what happens down the hall and not what's hanging on the wall.

I'm saddened every time I run into a business, not for profit or church that got the vision part down, but can't get its systems in place. Unwittingly, they sabotage growth at every turn.

Take a look at your organization. Do you have systems in place that allow for growth or are they keeping it from moving forward?


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