What is the perfect balance between vision, projects and people?
Some people say that people are more important than projects.
Some others would say that no one is indispensable thus potentially elevating projects above people.
Still others, speaking from a military perspective, would say that the mission is more important than the individual while at the same time saying that no one can be left behind.
People commit to vision. Vision is what brings people together. People do not come together, whether consciously or unconsciously unless they share a vision.
Once a vision is shared by two or more people plans are formed, projects, to help further the vision.
These plans are formed in unity between the people sharing the vision.
What happens if part way through the fulfillment of one of the projects being undertaken one of the people involved loses interest in the vision and decides to leave? Is that person, no matter how much you love and respect them, more important than the fulfillment of the vision? Because they leave do you abandon the vision and leave with them? If you still hold to the vision then you will let them go and continue pursuing the vision. In this sense, vision is more important than people.
If someone genuinely holds to the vision but for whatever reason are just not able to run with the vision at this point in time but their heart is right in it and you know for the team to fulfill the vision that you need their involvement, then you need to wait for them to be ready to play their part to ensure the fulfillment of the vision. Perhaps this involves sacrificing a project but it does not involve sacrificing the vision. This would be an example of people being more important than projects.
Unless people want to be involved in a vision or in a project agreed to be undertaken by those who have bought into the vision they should not be involved. This is where motivation comes from. Motivation comes from a free will decision to be involved. This is also where loyalty comes from. In this place where all are working together to fulfill the vision, there is no need to ‘crack the whip’ or demand better performance or threaten or force people to try harder or do better. They genuinely want to do their best because they committed to it. In fact, the opposite is true. You may instead need to hold them back from working so hard or burning out so they will be able to sustain performance for the long haul. In this sense also people are more important than projects. No project should sacrifice the wellbeing of the people involved.
Yes, it is true that from the outside you might find opposition coming as what you are trying to achieve becomes clear and as above if this becomes too painful for those involved then they should leave of their own free will so that they are not involved in anything which they are committed to beyond the point to which they are prepared to sacrifice.
In all this, the vision remains uncompromised. If the vision is right and true then no matter how much opposition it faces it will endure. People will come and go. Projects will come and go. Some will be a success whereas others will peter out. The vision will endure and the comradeship enjoyed by those who persevere to see the fulfillment of the vision will nearly be as satisfying as seeing the vision fulfilled.
Andrew J Horton
09 October 2016