Give a Roadmap to the People You Lead

I am an idea person. I see the world through the lens of possibilities. It can be called different things: dreamer, visionary, even imagineer.  The way I view people, organizations, and opportunities all revolves around the potential to do something better. Problems are simply challenges to that can be overcome. Even as a young kid, I wanted to create things out of my building block set or color outside the lines in my coloring books. I can’t help myself! Often, people who gravitate towards leadership (especially in ministry) are visionaries, like me! However, as visionary leaders we can run into stumbling blocks when it comes to communicating those ideas and dreams to our teams.  So, it becomes crucial to communicate clearly about our vision within our ministry —where we're going, how do we get there, and why we're even doing it. We love talking about our dreams for the future and we want to share that passion with our staff, but often communicate what makes sense to us, not the team.  Learning to communicate clearly allows everyone on the team to focus their attention on the same things. So then, how do we give our team a roadmap to where we want to go? Here are some things I’ve learned over the years in my quest to be clearer:

Give Context

I had to realize that just sharing a new idea wasn't going to be helpful for the team.  I needed to do more. When you have a big new idea to share with your team, take some time to do your homework first. Furthermore, be ready to give some concrete information alongside your dream. Additionally, back up what you have to say with some data and think through a few practical examples of what your idea might look like in real life.


Ask people if you are being clear. This seems overly simple, but it is helpful to pause mid-conversation and ask people for feedback. Often people are uncomfortable interrupting you to say they don’t understand or that you "firehosing" them. Take the initiative to ask for their thoughts. Acknowledging you aren’t perfect in communication and giving your team a platform to ask questions goes a long way in showing them value and in earning their respect.

Seek to Understand Them Too

Take some time to study behavior and personality types. This might seem overkill, but the better you know your team, the better you can communicate with them. This goes for you too.  The more you know about your communication style, the better you can find common ground in theirs. There are a number of helpful tools to aid in you in this process. Tools like enneagram, Strengths-Finder and the DISC profile are ones I have personally used with my teams. Undoubtedly, these types of tools can be invaluable. Praise God that He’s equipped your ministry with different strengths, abilities and talents. Without your gift to dream up ideas and envision the future, there would be no destination. In the same way without teammates gifted to organize and sift through nitty-gritty details, there would be no road to get there.