Want Your Messages to Stick?

Made to Stick

My last post summarized lessons from the last two weeks of the NIV Leadership Bible, focused on the leadership skill of communicating vision.  This hearkens me back to the days of NASA’s Leadership Development Program.  Six years ago, our 12-member group from across NASA was immersed in learning all we could about leadership.  One of our group members learned that a senior executive was reading Chip & Dan Heath’s Made to Stick—the 2007 Best Business Book of the Year by 800-CEO-READ book awards.  So, he offered to lead a book club discussion about why some ideas make it and others don’t based on the Heath brothers’ research.

The Heath brothers start with the assertion that history is littered with good ideas that failed to catch on, as well as bad ideas that didn’t.  So, they dug deeper by asking why?  They define “sticky” as understandable, memorable, and effective in changing thought or behavior.

Then, they outline 6 principles that reinforce one another and multiply the “stickiness factor.”  If you want your ideas to stick…especially if you’re communicating vision to your team, learn more about the 6 principles here.

Communicating Vision: Learning from Moses, King David, and Jesus


As an individual contributor and aspiring leader in my organization, I always knew “that vision thing” (a term coined by President George H. W. Bush after he spent time at Camp David in 1987 preparing for his Presidential run) was a critical part of leadership.  So, I was very excited when I was selected for my first leadership role over a team of 3 people.  I set up our first meeting and prepared a vision for our future.  It was a beautifully-written, inspiring one-pager…if I don’t say so myself!

When I presented it to the team, I got blank stares and a lack of excitement.  I would later learn that…big surprise…my team members had ideas about our future too.  And they wanted to have a part in creating the team’s vision!  That leadership lesson was never lost on me, as I’ve moved into different leadership roles over the past 10 years.

I wish I learned lessons from weeks 12 & 13 of the NIV Leadership Bible earlier in my career.  These 10 readings focused on the important leadership skill of communicating vision.  We see examples from the lives of King David, Moses, and Jesus on how we can inspire others, address resistance, and cast a vision that engages our team members.

Click here to learn more.