Why the Secret to Organizational Leadership Isn’t Found in the Books

The real experts on vision are the people we have the chance to serve alongside.

We tend to rely on experts when it comes to developing a vision for leadership. There are more than 60,000 books you can buy on Amazon today with leadership in the title.

We often look to outside sources for new perspectives as well as for better answers, better ways to make decisions, better ways to serve our organizations.

But in that search, there’s something that’s always missing.


Leadership is contextual, and we have to understand that dynamic before we can effectively lead.

Contextual leadership is a practice that is specific to a given time and space and group of people. That context is gained from within our communities–not without.

The real experts on vision are the people we have the chance to serve alongside.

To gain that vision, we don’t need to look outward. We don’t even need to look forward. We just need to look around us.

Vision is one of the most powerful tools we have as leaders, but vision is the ability to have a perspective and see that perspective clearly.

Leadership is not about the ability to predict what’s next or the ability to predict the future.


Your context comes from everything and everyone around you – it’s your big picture. It’s everything you need to know before making a decision.

Context comes when you take the time to pause, talk to those around you and gather information. And that practice permits you to not know all the answers in the beginning.


Take the time to re-evaluate yourself as a leader and your organization, and you won’t need a crystal ball.

We’re not called to be soothsayers; we’re simply called to be good stewards of what we have been given. And the frameworks we choose can help us be the best stewards of the contexts in which we have the privilege of serving.