Which Way Is the Compass Pointing?

Proverbs 29:18

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.

A compass is a valuable tool for those who like to hike or explore unfamiliar territory.  Its helpful because it will always let the one using it know which direction is North.  By letting the one using it know which way is North, it makes it easier to know when you’re getting off course or need to change directions to get back on the intended route.

Every organization needs a compass.  Not a literal one but something that serves as an indicator as to whether or not its headed in the direction it intends to go.  Most successful organizations have a vision statement that serves as its compass.  For the organization in general and for its employees in specific, a solid vision statement is like a compass that lets everyone know exactly where ‘North’ is located.

Just like someone exploring unfamiliar territory, everyone in an organization can get off the intended course.  And, when working in teams, if we’re not careful, its possible for everyone to get off course.  This is why its so important that everyone on the team be committed to the vision AND be committed to helping everyone else stay in line with the vision.

One leader cannot successfully keep everyone on track, especially when the leader is releasing control and allowing the individuals on the team to lead and work in their own right.  In addition, the leader needs the team to help keep him/her on course at times as well.  For an organization and a team to all continue to head in the right direction it will take the commitment of each individual to serve as a compass for the team when needed.

This is why its so vital for everyone on a team to understand that no matter their position on the team they will, at times, have to help lead the team.  To do this well, each person on the team has to know when they have to apply leadership pressure to other people on the team… even their leader.

Leadership pressure is having a conversation with someone on the team when we see something that is happening now or we see something that is coming later that no one else can see.

Leadership pressure for a team works much like the magnet in a compass.  The earths magnetic field (way too complicated science for me) applies force on the magnet in a compass to keep it pointed North.  When everyone on the team knows and stays committed to the Vision they become like a magnetic field that can influence the direction of others on the team.

 Ephesians 4:15-16

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

One of the signs that we’re ‘growing up’ is that we speak truth (apply leadership pressure) to others… In love. It’s easy to do this when we’re in agreement with the other person on our true North, much harder when we’re not.

But, if we really love others we’ll speak truth to them even when it’s hard. And. We’ll receive truth from others even when it’s hard to hear. Why? That’s how Jesus lived and led others. It’s one of the keys to help the church (or any organization), others & ourselves grow into who God wants us to be.

6 Keys to arriving at the desired destination:

1. Clear Vision

2. Unity about the Vision

3. Loving those on the journey with us.

4. Understanding that we all get off course at times.

5. A willingness to lead (apply leadership pressure) regardless of our position.

6. A willingness to receive leadership pressure from others, regardless of position.