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management

Your ever evolving vision

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  • Knowing what we know now what can we do better?
  • All this got us here. What do we need to learn to get us there? 
  • If this is level 1 or 2 what will level 7 or 8 look like? 

Last week, I re-watched our first video announcing my joining The Youth Cartel. This was the Cartel on July 10th, 2011. 

Looking back on that video… it was all vision, baby. We had a lot of ideas for what we might be doing. Maybe events. Maybe some type of publishing. Definitely coaching. And probably a fair amount of consulting.

Now, almost two years later, most of the stuff we originally envisioned in that video has come to fruition. We hosted 1 event the first year, 4 the second, and have 7 scheduled for the third. (Though that’ll likely be 10.) We’re on pace to release about 10 titles per year for our Cartel publishing line, plus Marko and I are each doing some level of publishing on our own. The coaching program is thriving. And our consulting work continues to expand in ways we’d only dreamed of in 2011.

The Evolution of Vision

When I compare the original video to what we are actually doing and where we see things going, it’s obvious to see how the questions above are shaping & reshaping us all the time.

  • We are succeed by failing fast. We build on things that succeed while learn from and move on from things that fail.
  • We are creating light, no nonsense, expandable structures to support the vision. (In a business sense, this is vital for growth.)
  • We are focused on our original vision, values, and trajectory. We’re informed by today’s mission but not shaped by tasks.

One thing that’s especially healthy is that we’re allowing our vision to evolve. We know more now. We are responding to what we are learning. And we understand that what we’ve done so far has gotten us HERE— but to go THERE we need to continue to evolve.

When I compare ourselves to other start-ups, other ministry organizations, and even the youth workers we serve… I think sometimes a lack of evolution is what holds them back. They want to hold onto or get back to something that once worked, or maybe works reasonably well now, but they are getting more and more locked into a mission instead of being guided by an ever-evolving vision.

Codification Leads to Coagulation

Here’s something I’ve been chewing on: Codification of the vision leads to coagulation of the heart. 

In other words, if your vision stops as you yourself change you’ll see your work and your heart migrate in two different directions. You’ll protect the vision instead of the vision giving you life. You justify your own work as understandably separate from the work of your organization. And you have a nagging feeling that you’re leading the wrong way while reassuring yourself that the vision is more correct than your feelings.

My Advice? Continue to evolve your vision. And don’t mistake today’s mission for your vision.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

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