We’ve all heard the expression, “We overestimate what we can do in one year and significantly underestimate what can be accomplished in three years.” We tend to be overly ambitious for what can happen in a year. We raise expectations– our own and those of others– and then fall short because we didn’t take the time to build the foundation sufficiently.
So instead we need to take the long view… three years out. What are the important things we need to be focused on now that will increase our capacity for growth down the road? For example, taking time to personally start building relationships with people who are not yet followers of Jesus doesn’t get fast results. Yet if you stay with it long enough, it will lead to bigger results down the road. When those people come to faith, they bring their network of friends, creating a multiplying effect.
Often in leadership we’re short-sighted. We look toward short-term results instead of building for the long-term. A tall building has to go down for a long time before it goes up if it’s going to be stable. That means the first thing we see is a big hole in the ground that doesn’t look like much of anything. As leaders, we need to manage our expectations. Because in three years, that hole in the ground could be an amazing building… assuming we put forth the initial effort and stay with it.