Posts Tagged ‘vision’



Vision, Tenacity and Your Success

I was recently reminded that great organizations, missions and even products were ideas in the mind of a visionary who more often than not, did not have the proverbial two dimes to rub together when they saw the opportunity and set out to seize it.  Such dynamic has always fascinated me. For me the question has always been, “Did it succeed because it was a good idea or because the sheer tenacity of its visionary leader?” After going back and forth on the answer, I have come to believe that the answer is both –a good idea in the hands of a passionate and committed visionary.  I have seen great ideas, quantified by research, die because it lacked a champion that drove through the obstacles and refused to let roadblocks stop it from coming to fruition. I have also seen strong, hard-driving leaders hold on to a bad idea and…

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Without a Clear “How” Your Organization Vision is Irrelevant

Your organization might have a good grasp on its vision: you know where you want to go. Most business or ministries I have worked closely with have a very well-defined vision statement. Some talk about their calling, and some still have what I have heard described as a “sense of destiny.” But in my experience an organization falters or fail to reach its vision not for the lack of direction, but by not having a clear understanding of the “how.” Vision, by its own nature, is the “what” question every organization must answer. What are we all about? What are we accomplishing? What defines success for us? All these are important and even primarily important, meaning, without clearly answering them, the following questions do not matter. But once that’s done, every organization must answer the next and critically important question, “how are we going to do that.” In my experience…

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Testing Your Vision

This past weekend my good friend and client, Frank Santora started a church in the middle of Time Square NYC. He couldn’t have picked a more difficult and expensive place to plant a church, but I’m glad he did. People in the city need to hear the gospel in a dynamic and unique way, and Frank is a gifted writer and communicator. Vision is a powerful motivation and one that often doesn’t make sense, but once it grabs hold of us, it can change everything. I had a vision to start The A Group several years before we started it in 2001. I remember a former boss saying, “what you want to do is needed, but I don’t think people will pay for it.” He was wrong. I’m glad. But too often the naysayers win the day and the vision that had been growing within us dies without ever being…

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The Two Greatest Enemies of Vision

“The two greatest enemies of vision: being sedated slowly and being seduced by momentum.” Those were the words of my Pastor, Pete Wilson this past Sunday. As I thought about that statement for the past day, it still resonates with me and my experience in both growing my business as well as consulting with organizations world wide. When you are a new business or brand new non-profit you cannot help but be laser focused if you are going to succeed. After all, the competition has more resources, and both broader knowledge and bandwidth to get things done. Start ups cannot compete on the broader spectrum, they have to go deep in one area, a niche, if you will. But the larger and more “stable” any organization gets, it becomes easier to start going wide and to lose focus in order to pursue other fun and interesting options that most likely…

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Is Your Greatest Idea Still on a Napkin?

“The greatest ideas are still left on napkins,” said a friend over lunch. These words stuck with me like some ugly unwelcome platitude. The more I tried to ignore them, the more they nagged at me. My ultimate fear is to go to my grave with my greatest idea still left on a napkin. What holds us back from pursuing our dreams? Here’s where I have landed on pursuing new business or ministry ideas. I don’t like risk, but I’m willing to take calculated ones. For someone who has started several business over the years,  (about 5 to date), I still struggle with the idea of something not working out. The fear of failure is real when you put a lot on the line for your dream.  But I also know that in order for an idea to flourish and become a reality, I have to step out of my…

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Getting Your Vision Funded

There’s not a week that goes by that I don’t meet with someone who’s trying to secure funding for a project, business, ministry or church. I love meeting with visionaries who can see an opportunity to make a big impact whether it be in the business sector or in the not-for-profit world. But there are more ideas floating out there than money to fund them. Here’s a few lessons I’ve learned about why some people get their dreams funded, while others don’t. The idea has to be viable. I know this sounds so basic, but I can’t tell you how many pitches I’ve heard of crazy and just plan bad ideas. Interestingly, I have seen people dip in their retirement accounts, take a second mortgage to propel what it was obviously, to me anyway, a flawed proposition. You can throw good money at a bad idea. It  will just take…

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Without Systems Your Vision is Just a Dream

Systems, not vision, determine the sustainability of your dream. This has been a difficult lesson for me to learn, but over the years, I have met many a visionary leader whose dreams grew to a fraction of their potential because of the lack of an environment where the vision could thrive. Vision must come first in any organization, otherwise systems tend to get a life of their own and become what we hate the most about government: bureaucracy, a means into itself, a self-preserving, self-entitled nothingness. However, vision without systems is like a train without tracks. In a growing organization, sustainability means understanding strengths, threats, opportunities, trends and how to design organizational culture and procedures to address them. I’ve heard someone put it this way: what determines your product is what happens down the hall and not what’s hanging on the wall. I’m saddened every time I run into a…

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