Clarity of Vision

Where there is no vision, the people perish: .....
Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
Being appointed as leaders of The Salvation Army for Southern Africa in 1994 provided us with the immense opportunities and challenges facing a denomination in a country reborn.  There was a new constitution, a government of national unity and huge expectations all round.
One of The Salvation Army's ways of securing public support is to establish Advisory Boards at regional and national levels. They are comprised of a group of carefully selected business and community leaders sympathetic to its overall purpose. I inherited such an advisory board at national level when I took office. And one of my first tasks was to meet the person recommended by the board when Chris Liebenberg, their previous chairman had resigned. 
Chris had been CEO of Nedbank, one of South Africa's major financial institutions, but had been invited by President Mandela to become Minister of Finance. 
The work of the National Advisory Board continued, but several months into my appointment I received an invitation from Pretoria. The Minister of Finance wanted to meet me.  I joined him in his office overlooking the Union Buildings. Conversation ranged from how he, without political affiliation, was coping with the national finances in a cabinet where political support was crucial to what my plans for the future of The Salvation Army were. 
I showed him a simple preliminary leaflet of Vision, Mission and Values I had drafted following extensive listening to the hopes and dreams of many South African Salvationists.  My experience with The Leprosy Mission had certainly taught me the value of such statements. Chris took the leaflet, had a quick read and then, looking up at me spoke briefly and quietly:
  'A leader has just four things to do,' he explained. 'Cast a vision, put the right person in the right place and set a few reasonable and achievable targets.' 
He paused. I was listening carefully. 
  'And what about the fourth,' I asked.
  'Go and play golf,' was his reply. 
He smiled; I smiled.
  'I'll concentrate on the first three, then,' I said. 'I don't play golf!'  
And of the three, the one I increasingly realised is of utmost importance is that of being able to grasp, articulate and share a vision of what it is we are hoping to accomplish together. Without it, as the book of Proverbs reminds us, the people perish. This is true for a denomination; the same is true for a body bearing the name 'mission' in its title. 
I still don't play golf, but have slowly discovered the value of taking time for recreation, relaxation and rest. It's sometimes during such times that revelation occurs and vision becomes clearer.