Momentum is the Key to Resurgence

Momentum. Every leader needs it. If you’ve been stationary for any period of time you know you need to generate some. Generating it takes incredible energy. Stepping out of a maligned past is a challenge. Overcoming the barriers and generating healthy momentum is not for the faint of heart. Momentum is the key to leading a resurgence.

Resurgence takes skilled and determined leadership. Are you up for the challenge?

  • Do you see a better future in the face of overwhelming obstacles?
  • Are you living among a group of people you are called to lead who see nothing but the current realities?
  • Is your leadership malaise stifling hope and burying opportunity?

Take courage from Cleveland’s Resurgence!

Last weekend I was in Cleveland for a family gathering. We spent time in the much misunderstood Rust Belt City. As we walked around the city once famous for its great river fire of 1969, I was struck by its radical turn around.

And while it is certain that this great city is not perfect, and that Cleveland still has economic and social issues to overcome, I was struck by the vision and relentless execution that has this beacon of hope on Lake Erie moving in the right direction.

Here are leadership lessons from Cleveland’s resurgence I took with me as I made my way back home to Madison.

Cleveland, Ohio in the United States. City skyline.

Visionary Leaders…

Choose Catalytic Language

Vision has two components: macro and micro, moutaintop and milestone, qualitative and quantitative.

Both components of vision must be compelling.

By compelling I mean that we want to repeat it. We want to share it.

Hope springs when we utter the phrase.

Language has the power to paint a picture. Words create worlds.

Consider this from Cleveland:

The macro Vision launched in 2009 was “Green City on a Blue Lake”

Consider the radical nature of this vision for a city that was nicknamed “Mistake on the Lake”!

“…Cleveland is well on its way to achieving its vision of a ‘green city on a blue lake.’” Read the Entire Article Here.

The micro Vision followed. The mountaintop “Green City on a Blue Lake” would become a reality only by hitting clearly articulated milestones along the 10 year journey.

“In 2009, the city created Sustainable Cleveland 2019, a 10-year action plan initiative devoted to addressing environmental issues and raising awareness.” Read the entire article here.

Sustainable Cleveland 2019 helped the city…

Condense Their Focus

Pursuing vision can be daunting. We have daily reminders of our current position. There are voices all around us that remind us of all the reasons we can’t and won’t. Few people can see beyond the horizon.

So, an effective visionary leader knows that he/she must condense their focus.

One step at a time. The next hill to take. Steady, methodical, patient…all the while holding onto the dream.

Holding onto the inspiring “Green City on a Blue Lake” (like a post card of the dream) Cleveland took the next step pursuing the next initiative.

“Cleveland is building a new reputation of a sustainable ‘green city on a blue lake’ by promoting nine sustainability initiatives. Each initiative serves as the year’s theme for addressing environmental issues in the city. The nine themes are:

2011: The Year of Energy Efficiency
2012: The Year of Local Foods
2013: The Year of Advanced and Renewable Energy
2014: The Year of Zero Waste
2015: The Year of Clean Water
2016: The Year of Sustainability Mobility
2017: The Year of Vibrant Green Space
2018: The Year of Vital Neighborhoods
2019: The Year of People”  Read the entire article here.

It’s 2016. You can see the progress as you walk the streets of Cleveland. Not finished, 10 years is a long time. The vision is a long pursuit in the same direction.

So along the way, the visionary leader realizes that he/she must…

Celebrate Their Progress

“Cleveland has come a long way in the 50 years since the infamous Cuyahoga River fire, even hosting a sustainable celebratory Burning River Fest every year in the summer to help Clevelanders celebrate just how far the city has come….Cleveland is well on its way to achieving its vision of a ‘green city on a blue lake.’” Read the entire article here.

A visionary leader like you can bring others with YOU as YOU…

  • Choose Catalytic Language
  • Condense Your Focus
  • Celebrate Your Progress

Back in 1969, who would have thought that Cleveland would be described like this?

“Hipsters battling to rent warehouse lofts. Trendy bars, espresso shops and music venues. A funky, celebrity-chef-owned restaurant serving bone marrow and crispy pig ears.”

Someone in 2009 who loved Cleveland enough to pursue a “Green City on a Blue Lake”!

  • What vision is stirring in your heart right now?
  • What’s your catalytic language?
  • What’s your condensed focus?
  • What opportunities can you create to celebrate your progress?

If you would like to learn more about vision and momentum, start a conversation with our team. We’re glad to offer our input. Your vision is at stake, so let’s talk.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Meyer

Jeff Meyer

I am Jeff Meyer, and I start fires. Ever since that basketball game in college when I came off the bench and lit a spark for my team, I have carried the nickname "Fire Meyer." (Until that point in my career my jersey #22 never saw the floor in an actual game. Perhaps the #22 was a symbol of my life calling: 2 Timothy 2:2?) I live to see sparks ignited and connections made. I long to see the church wake up and live. I long to see Jesus-followers display passionate commitment to Jesus. Jesus' invitation to follow Him was an adventure of epic proportions. Can we recapture that today? I long to see communities transformed into healthy places of wholeness. I believe that communities are transformed when Jesus-followers are stoked and respond. Perhaps you've heard it said that the church is the hope of the world. I believe that a responsive Jesus-follower is the hope of the world. "Igniting connections" is my way of setting off some inspirational sparks; sparks that ignite a passionate response to the call of Jesus.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
comment_post_ID); ?> "While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 

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