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Every Vision Starts with a Burden

March 30, 2021

I am passionate about communication.

I believe in the power of written communication and work to use it for the good of leaders around the world—through the books I write and these weekly blog posts.

But as much as I enjoy writing, I am particularly passionate about speaking. I firmly believe that effective public speaking has the power to change the world in an instant—because effective public speaking starts with a vision.

Think about it. Each of us have experienced a message that’s changed our lives. Whether it was listening live to a lecture that reframed our perspective, sitting under a Sunday morning sermon that changed the trajectory of our faith, or even going back to the archives of the greatest speeches of all time—like Martin Luther King Jr. sharing his dream for America or Ronald Reagan charging Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. Speeches change us, they change the world, and they move people to action. 

Because I believe speaking is an effective way to impact people and change lives, we’re doubling down on helping members of our ADDO team become more effective speakers. Our friend and partner Dana McArthur is coming into the office to show our team how to become better trainers by engaging and challenging the leaders they teach. And I am helping three of our team members pinpoint, design, and craft their signature speeches.

Part of this training has been helping these members of my team determine what they have to say to the world.

I believe we shouldn’t speak because we want to say something, but because we have something to say.


What we have to say should be focused on our vision for a better future. 

Regardless of your desire to speak publicly, if you’ve read this far, this next piece applies to you. 

How can you identify your vision if you don’t know what that is?

It’s more simple than you might imagine: Start with a burden. Every vision emanates from a burden. 

Some of you know exactly what burdens you, but if you don’t, try asking yourself these questions:

– What do I get angry about?
What breaks my heart?
What do I look at and say, “This shouldn’t be this way”?

A vision should come from what you want to see changed in the world because a vision is your idea of a better future. How should things be in the world? Your answer to this question is the start of your vision. It doesn’t have to be dramatic or earth-shattering, but it does need to make the world a better place.

This idea of starting with a burden to identify your vision works for both a personal vision and a corporate one. 

If you want to start a business, what gap are you able to fill in your field? How are you able to make your customers’ or clients’ lives easier? 

If you’re starting a church, what are you providing to potential members? How are you going to reach out to your community in a way other churches and organizations aren’t?

Here’s my challenge to you today: If you’ve been struggling to define a vision for yourself, your team, or your organization, start with a burden. Don’t wait for the perfect words to come to you. Start with the passion and the right words will follow.


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