The Vision Formula

“Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth.” These words by leadership guru, George McGregor Burns, still echo in my mind more than a decade after I first read them. A quick search on for books on leadership brings up 60,000 results! How many of these books do you think you could actually read in your lifetime?

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While we may never expect to fully understand leadership, I think we can agree on one premise: Vision is at the very core of leadership. There is no effective leadership without vision. So, could there be a quick and easy way to know if I am a visionary leader? Is there a “formula” to vision? I don’t propose to have cracked the code on the subject of vision, but I read something from John Maxwell that could perhaps give us an idea, a visionary leadership formula if you will:

 Divine Curiosity
+ Holy Dissatisfaction
= Vision


John Maxwell cleverly stated, “Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it will build the leader.” Visionary leaders are curious people. I'm not talking about a natural curiosity, like the way a bird watcher is always on the lookout for the elusive fowl. I'm talking about a curiosity that sees the world through the lenses of God’s passionate heart. Biblical visionary leaders “lift up their eyes” as Jesus commanded, and open their hearts to the world around them — always attentive to the human condition and the sovereign move of God’s Spirit.


Are you satisfied with the status quo? If you are still reading this, my guess is you are not. Visionary leaders are keenly aware that while the Kingdom of God is available to all of us now, even the best individual Christian and the healthiest church is far from the full realization of God’s reign over us. To put it simply, we need the transformational work of God, and we need it now.

Godly curiosity gives us new eyes to see the world and perceive the need. Holy dissatisfaction is the fertile ground in which God will sow the seed of vision in our hearts. Once your curiosity discerns the vision and your dissatisfaction fuels the passion, your life will change forever.

What issues spark your curiosity that God can use? What human situation provokes “holy dissatisfaction” in you?