When evaluating a vision, John Maxwell says that says that you should check your compass to see if the dream is worthy of pursuing. This chapter in The Seventeen Indisputable Laws of Teamwork stresses the importance of your intuitive, historical, directional, strategic, and visionary compasses. That’s five of the six compasses he mentioned. There is one more that struck me as I read the entire chapter. It is the first compass in his list. It is a moral compass.
Now, being a preacher, a moral compass has a louder ring of truth to it than some of the others he mentioned. But the chapter addresses something that made the need for examining a vision with a moral compass really stand out. He illustrated the importance of leading to live a dream with the success of the Enron Corporation.
I admit that I don’t know much about Enron’s failure. OG&E delivers my utilities. But I’ve watched enough of the news to know that greed was the driving force behind the visions of Enron’s executives. If greed is the driving force, and a leader examines the vision with a moral compass, the vision will never be pursued. Where a vision is pursued without examination with a moral compass, success may be seen for a while, but failure will come.
Remember these proverbs that are recorded in succession:
"He whose walk is blameless is kept safe,
but he whose ways are perverse will suddenly fall."
"He who works his land will have abundant food,
but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty."
"A faithful man will be richly blessed,
but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished" (Prov 28:18-20).
No doubt, Maxwell will write more books. I hope he does. They are worth the read. I wonder if we will see another chapter about the importance of a ethical dreams where the fall of Enron, rather than its success, is the primary illustration.