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How to Engage with Vision

Understanding and Applying the SERVE Model

By Bruce Witt   [Tweet This Article]

When developing leaders we need to answer the following basic questions of Why, How, and What. We’re continuing a detailed dialogue about The SERVE model that we use in training scenarios around the world connects with all three of these elements.

The Practical Analogy of Monovision

Monovision has been used successfully for years with contact lens correction and with various other types of refractive surgery. By correcting one eye to focus for distant vision and one eye to focus for near vision, our brain will suppress or filter out the image from the eye that is not in clear focus. This can be done with contacts and now is being done with specific laser surgery so that the dominant eye focuses at distance and the non-dominant eye focuses clearly on nearby objects.

The amazing thing is how the brain takes these two images, one clear and one maybe slightly fuzzy, aligns them in the brain and send one signal to another part of the brain that registers as one picture.

Our leadership parallel is simply that the farsightedness relates to having a clear and accurate picture of the long term and the nearsightedness would be represented by having the clarity of detail of a plan. The alignment of vision and plan with the people can see and understand the big picture and the steps at the same time. 

E – Engage with Vision

Whether you’re serving your family, your church, your neighbor, or your colleagues and staff, the next step in servant leadership is to engage with vision. Leaders engage people to the cause with a compelling vision. It is much like a clutch when it engages the engine to the transmission and powertrain, the vehicle moves forward.

Without engaged people the organization has no progress.

In work scenarios, the mission and vision for the organization is captured by the Leadership Team. The vision compels, engages, and directs the work. Mission is the “Why” or purpose. It is expressed in a focused action. Vision is a picture of the future good. Vision must be backed up with a comprehensive plan and processes. Vision provides hope that motivates all. Vision begins with knowing the lay of the land and an honest self-assessment. Everyone needs to align and commit to it.

Here are three best practices:

1. Capture a Compelling Future (Mission, Vision).

2. Establish a Customer Focused Plan.

3. Align the People.

The SERVE Model

As a reminder, the SERVE model is the big idea on how to develop leaders. Here are the five disciplines –

S – Shape your Leadership Champion a WOW culture (World of Worth)

E – Engage with Vision Focus on Strategy

R – Refine your Process Work on the Business

V – Value your People Empower Teams

E – Excel at Results Challenge the Future and the Next Generation

A Biblical Example

The SERVE model also draws from the life of David in the book of Acts 13:22, 36,

“He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will….For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation,’”

God’s heart and His Purpose precedes His will and the generations. They are always linked together. Thus with each of the five disciplines, there is an overarching corresponding action.

Next month, we’ll take a closer look at how to refine your process work on the business (the “R” in SERVE). In the meantime, please share your comments in this post – thank you