For years, we as pastors have echoed countless sermons on leadership, purpose and understanding one’s calling. However, most messages lead congregants to a euphoric sense of inspiration without any form of personal application. The mood is set, the lights are dim, and the band is enveloped in the last chorus of Beautiful Name. However, in the midst of this spiritual move of God, many don’t know where to move next. This leads us to the question, is one’s calling strictly spiritual?
Dr. Tina Seelig, executive director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, challenges us to understand the varied concepts of the entrepreneurial mindset. In her book, InsightOut: Get Ideas Out of Your Head and Into the World, she forces us to question our convictions, reevaluate our methods and understand our personal framework. She believes that success is dependent upon on our journey towards entrepreneurship and our effort in preparation. For instance, Seelig states that, “If your objective is to achieve something of merit, you need to begin with a clear vision of your goal.” Therefore, she holds to the idea that one’s vision is the foundation of one’s success. Her book weaves though a myriad of personal stories, academic theories and leadership methodologies. However, the core substance of the text remains consistent. Dr. Seelig challenges her readers to question their perceptions of leadership and purpose by presenting them with a preparatory framework – the Invention Cycle. She believes that:
By understanding the Invention Cycle and honing the necessary attitudes and actions, you can identify more opportunities, challenge more assumptions, generate unique solutions, and bring more ideas to fruition. These powerful tools will help you chart a path towards the life you want to lead.
According to Dr. Seelig, the entrepreneurial mindset is part of a cyclical formation and requires one to utilize all elements in concert. Therefore, she holds to the idea that leadership stems from one’s model of preparation, not simply their presentation. This is why her Invention Cycle  includes, imagination, engagement, creativity, motivation, experimentation, innovation and framework. Dr. Seelig challenges her readers to implement all elements before coming to a finalized solution. This is why she challenges us to understand our purpose through the platform of observation.
Dr. Seelig delves into the idea that, “You need to not only imagine the future you hope to reach, but also to envision the obstacles you need to overcome along the way.” When we first started LOUD Summit, we were determined to set up at least three summits per year and be a global movement by 2020. However, we soon found that a lot of our ideas were formed on older ministry models that didn’t work for our geographical location or audience. LOUD claimed that we were empowering, encouraging and equipping these generations to live out their destiny; however, when we assessed our actions, we realized that we were falling short of our goals.
We revamped the structure of LOUD Summit and changed it from a 3-day event to a one-day summit and added practical workshops that addressed the needs of Millennials and Generation Z. We realized that our vision needed to be swayed by the needs of our audience. Andy Stanley makes the same assertion and reveals that, “Vision empowers you to move purposefully in a predetermined direction.” We took the time to envision our future successes and obstacles in order to move towards our pretermind goal. It wasn’t the easiest decision. It took a lot of work and restructuring. However, it was a necessary choice to attain longevity and influence. This change required us to evaluate culture, count the cost and renew our mindset.
When we stepped into our new goals, we had to remind ourselves of our personal vision. Seelig reveals, “I often meet individuals who are desperately looking deep inside themselves to find something that will drive their passion. They miss the fact that, for most of us, actions lead to our passion, not the other way around.” Our team was faced with countless obstacles and frustrations along the way; however, because we took the time to envision the future of LOUD, we were able to accomplish the tasks required of us in the present. We were forced to look outside of ourselves for direction and inspiration.
After two years of ideation and experimentation, LOUD evolved into a varied form of my first vision. However, as I look back on old sketches, I realize that the organization would have failed within the first year if we had refused to evolve. It was through experimentation and reframing our vision that we became a ministry that responded to the realistic needs of these generations, instead of a hub of assumption.
William Edward Hickson coined the phrase, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” It’s my belief, that Dr. Seelig would counter this phrase and encourage leaders to try, try again, even if they succeed the first time. Many of us have been taught to not reinvent the wheel; however, sometimes we need forget the wheel and simply board the plane. Dr. Seelig invites us to evaluate our passions, experiences and visions and formulate a cyclical pattern of preperation. She begs us to understand the WHY to our WHAT and be compelled by the WHO. It’s time to remember the passion behind our purpose.
Tina Lynn Seelig, Insight Out: Get Ideas Out of Your Head and Into the World (New York, NY: HarperOne, An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, 2015),56.
Andy Stanley, Visioneering (Colorado, Colorado Springs: Multnomah Books, 1999), 12.
Tina Lynn Seelig, Insight Out: Get Ideas Out of Your Head and Into the World (New York, NY: HarperOne, An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, 2015), 27.
“Quote/counterquote: Origins, Uses and Abuses of Famous Quotations and Phrases,” www.quotecounterquote.com, accessed September 13, 2018, http://www.quotecounterquote.com/2014/04/if-at-first-you-dont-succeed.html.