Your vision shapes your reality
By Joe Soto A railroad crew was making repairs to a section of track when a train rolled up on a parallel track. Several men in suits disembarked from one of the passenger cars and began inspecting the work that was being done. A tall man in a blue suit looked over at the crew and nodded. He began to smile and walk toward them.
“Ted, is that you?” he asked of the crew’s chief.
“Yes, it is,” the chief replied as he shook hands with the visitor. “It’s good to see you, Dale!”
The two men chatted briefly, inquiring about each other’s health and families. Before they parted, they shook hands again and promised to keep in touch. When the man in the suit walked away, a member of the crew asked the chief, “Was that Dale Willis, the head of the railroad?”
“Yes, it was,” the chief replied.
“It seems like you two are old friends,” the man said.
“We are,” the chief replied. “We started out together on this job on the same day 20 years ago.”
“So how is it that you’re here laying track with us?” someone asked.
“Well,” the chief replied, “I had a vision of working for the railroad, while Dale had a vision of running the railroad.”
And if Ted is content working for the railroad, his vision was realized. Dale’s vision, on the other hand, set him on a path that he could accomplish only through a step-by-step plan to move ahead. This story from “Bits & Pieces” perfectly illustrates the importance of vision.
A study done by Fortune magazine examined 120 entrepreneurs over a three-year period. They were asked, “What do you need most to be a success?”
The study, headed by Robert Baum, an assistant professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, pointed to the need to have vision in order to reach goals. Baum said that 60 percent of people he talks to have wanted to start their own businesses, but that most of what he hears is “I wanna, I wanna.” The people who actually succeeded were the ones who had a vision and knew clearly where they wanted to go.
The American Marketing Association did a study several years back and asked 500 CEOs: What do you have to do to survive the next five years? 81 percent said creativity and vision. But of the 500 CEOs, 81 percent of them said that their company is not doing a good job at it.
I suspect that part of the problem is that many companies don’t know how to formulate a realistic vision. They confuse it with goals and objectives, which should come out of the corporate vision. Vision doesn’t do the planning and it doesn’t anticipate the obstacles. It gives a real idea of what is possible, if only they want it bad enough.
Base your vision on principle. An effective vision isn’t about processes or products, but principles — guidelines for action and behavior. Explore the values that guide …read more
Source: Harvey Mackay