Thursday, December 12, 2013

Believing in Your Vision

You can always tell who believes in his vision and who merely hopes it may take place one day by the nature of the risks the individual is willing to take.  It should be no shock to discover that when Bill Gates (the founder of Microsoft and one of the wealthiest people in the world) was a young boy, his favorite game was “Risk.”  Whether it is the risk of political stature and cachet in speaking the truth as you see it (Churchill) or the financial risk of leaving your cushy, prestigious career as a University professor, buying up a trunk load of your recently published book (the one that the publisher told you would only sell a few thousand copies) and going to scores of interviews in small town radio stations across the USA—and at the end of the year having a best seller and making more money in one year than you had in the previous thirty-six years (Wayne Dyer, Your Erroneous Zones), the belief in the vision is verified by the risks you are willing to take.

Visions are not realized by playing it safe.  Camelot would never have been built if Arthur was not willing to risk his life in battle.  Furthermore, he would never have engaged in those battles, if he did not believe in himself and his vision.

Abraham would never have arrived in the Promised Land if he had refused to leave his family and country for a far off destination, even though he did not know, at first, where he was going.  Without believing in his vision and his ability to attain that vision, of course, he would never have even considered the risks involved.

Joseph would never have become second-in-command of all Egypt had he not risked “being wrong” regarding the interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream.  He took the risk because he had a vision years earlier that had set him upon his quest.  His faith in the God of that vision gave him the courage to take the risk.

We not only see the legends’ beliefs born out in the leaps of faith that they take in pursuing the fulfillment of their vision, we also see it demonstrated in their laser-like focus on the vision.  Everything about their lives declares, This One Thing I Do.

Management guru Peter Drucker said, “Whenever anything is being accomplished, it is being done, I have learned, by a monomaniac with a mission.”  A monomaniac is someone with a single idea.  In this context, the single idea is your vision.  Of course, this does not mean that you won’t have a multiplicity of concerns and avenues for fulfilling your vision, only that there is a unifying principle at the heart of most all of what you are doing.

You won’t find Legendary Leaders often reacting to circumstances or being led around by some Focus Group.  They also don’t waste a lot of time and energy on fighting and arguing with those who disagree with their vision.  I am not saying that they do not seek to persuade others, only that when they do, it is part of a proactive strategy rather than a mere distraction.

Early on, one of the major errors I made as I went on my quest was to spend so much time seeking to show others how “wrong” their quests were.  As I look back on this, it all looks so silly and childish. Part of this was youthful arrogance and another part of it was insecurity, as I foolishly believed that for my quest to be True, everyone else needed to agree with and adopt the path I had chosen. What a huge distraction and waste of energy that was, and it was all caused by the weakness of my belief in my vision and myself.

The vision consumes the legend-in-the-making.  Living on the razor’s edge between disaster and miracle—which is where most visionaries reside--the visionary cannot afford to take his eyes off of the moment in which he is living.  Believing as he does provides him with blinders to anything and anyone who would distract from his quest.

An excerpt from my book, Legendary Leadership

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2009

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