I have a love hate relationship with duct tape.
I am not one of those guys that says “duct tape solves everything.” I do not have a duct tape wallet, hat or tie. I guess you could say that I use it when it is convenient. That is what duct tape is for right? Certain things are broken and you need to tape something together, fix a leaking pipe, or use it as a make-shift band aid.
The uses of duct tape are numerous (here is a list if your curious). But it does not mean that duct tape is perfect. In fact, duct tape has its limits. One of the biggest problems with duct tape is that you cannot continue to use the same piece for everything, after a while it starts to lose its “ductness” or stickiness.
Make it Stick, Really.
Making things stick is a great way to describe vision and mission. Head to your local Barnes and Noble and you will see all kinds of leadership books that have the word “stick” or “stickiness” in them when talking about vision.
One of the better books I have read about leadership and vision is a book by Andy Stanley called “Making Vision Stick” (there is that word again).
Andy has a way of taking a complex subject and making it very simple and understandable. On pg. 12 he wrote one sentence that sent me in to a tailspin of thought for about thirty minutes on vision. Check it out:
Vision doesn’t have much adhesive.
Profound right? Well maybe not on the surface, but the more I thought about the idea of making vision stick and the importance of repeating vision and making it clear I could not help but see someone taking a piece of duct tape, putting it on the ground and then ripping it off over and over and over.
You can imagine that piece of duct will lose its stickiness.
Part of the problem with vision is not how much you state your vision but how consistent you are with the way you say the vision. The point of vision is to provide direction and to stick. If you continue to state a vision and then pick it (or rip it) up and state another vision you will have a hard time getting that vision to stick. Not only do you lose your adhesiveness of vision you lose the momentum of your vision.
One of the most important things to making vision stick is to provide a clear and simple vision and let it stick. Andy would say it this way:
To make vision stick it needs to be easy…It is better to have a vision statement that is incomplete and memorable than to have one that is complete and forgettable