Barry drove home after the board of directors meeting frustrated. As board chair, he couldn’t seem to get passed the conflict between the board and the new director, Cheyenne. She wanted so many changes, but she didn’t understand the risks. What’s wrong with the way we’ve been running things? On the other hand, they did hire her because donations have steadily decreased over the past five years. Barry understood they needed to do something to reverse the trend. But Cheyenne wanted major overhaul. Her new direction was too radical…
Ever been there, whether from Barry’s perspective or Cheyenne’s? Barry has an administrative gift; Cheyenne a visionary. How can they work together?
In his audio, Administration vs. Anointing, Keith Yoder explains how each of these gifts work best during different phases in the organization’s time line. Here’s how an organization works:
First Phase: Design*
The Design phase is for the visionaries, those who have great ideas and can see the finished product.
- Second Phase: Design/Development
This phase is for those who can take the idea and run with it. They see the steps that are needed before we get to the finished product.
- Third Phase: Development/Management
These people take the well-designed framework and build on it, refining the product into a well-oiled machine.
- Fourth Phase: Management
These people can keep an excellent product running smoothly.
People’s gifts can overlap phases, but generally, the Design and Development phases require visionary-gifted people, while Management Phases require administrative people.
Most importantly, for an organization to thrive, these phases need to re-cycle. The visionaries need to keep developing fresh ideas that grow with the needs of their clients, and the admins need to keep refining and supporting the projects.
If an organization is made up of mostly visionaries, they tend to have many new start-ups, but after the ideas are developed, they fall apart because no one is gifted to perfect them and keep them running. On the other hand, if only administratively gifted people run the organization, they tend to keep the machine well-oiled, but they stay in “precautionary” mode and resist fresh vision. They don’t adjust effectively to the needs of the clients, and the organization eventually runs dry.
That’s what happened to Barry’s organization: very good administrators, but no new vision that grew with the changing environment. If Barry can recognize the need for Cheyenne’s fresh direction, his board can support Cheyenne by hiring more designer/developers to help her, while the administrators can continue providing the much-needed management.
There’s holy tension between vision and admin that looks like this:
The balance is in the center with Christ. He designed His body with a variety of gifts that function together, challenge and stretch each other, and support each other. If vision and Administration each function in the purpose and order God intended, His design can thrive.
See I Corinthians 12 (especially verse 28).
For more understanding on how the visionary and administration gifts work together, see:
*For information on how to determine in which phase you work best, see Bob Biehl’s TEAM Profile.