5 Principal Beliefs for Breakthrough Vision | The Garage Group

5 Principal Beliefs for Breakthrough Vision

“If you’re not a little out of control, you’re not driving fast enough.” – Mario Andretti

True entrepreneurs often have big, “out of control” vision. Their success in creating something new or catalyzing real change around business models or ingrained work processes depends on how they capture and stay true to their vision.

A recent talk by Brian Tome (Crossroads) highlighted five principal beliefs that great leaders live by:

1. Noticing a trend leads to vision. Entrepreneurial leaders notice trends. They see a move toward organic foods going mainstream before others do, and create a vision for Simple Truth, a store brand organic food line. They notice how consumers are integrating technology into their lives and leverage this new reality to create Amazon Dash, the future of shopping. Music. Art. Technology. Economy. They consume, curate and connect in ways that lead to big ideas. Implication: Ensure that you are regularly observing and curating; and identifying patterns in trends and analogs well beyond the safe parameters of your own category.

2. Vision comes when things are going well. Lesser leaders wait until they hit a crisis to look for a vision to save or rescue a business or organization. Great change makers see vision when things are on the upswing. They harness the positive factors in their business, along with the trends they’re noticing, to build new combinations of assets into new business models. This is basic physics: “an object in motion tends to stay in motion,” so it stands to reason that positive, forward motion begets forward looking vision. Implication: Don’t wait until you hit a crisis to be open to a new vision or idea. When things are rough, find a place where there is positive momentum to inspire vision.

3. Never decrease a vision…hold steady, or increase. Perhaps this one is the most widely misunderstood and mis-practiced. Many times, as a vision makes its way to “reality,” we make compromises because some aspect of the vision seems impossible, so we give up on that piece, and then another aspect is too costly, so we cut that, too. Slowly, the vision decreases. Great leaders hold steady or even allow the vision to enlarge as they make their way to reality, but this takes discipline and commitment, even in the face of naysayers and challenges. Implication: Document your original vision in as much detail as you can; then, re-visit it to be sure you don’t let pieces fall away.

4. Breakthrough vision leaves the leader alone and “odd” initially, but accompanied and understood later. Most people aren’t big fans of “change.” Even if they claim they are, routines and paradigms create ruts that are hard to break out of. Like any adoption curve, there are plenty who will misunderstand the vision, leaving the leader feeling lonely and potentially eroding confidence in the vision. Once the vision becomes clearer, and the leader gets more practiced at casting it, and the followers are able to understand how it impacts them positively, engagement, excitement and commitment will come. But, the visionary leader is comfortable being out in front of others. Implication: Be prepared for it to take some time for others to understand your vision. Communicate frequently, and refine your “pitch,” but recognize the same adoption curve that applies to technology and innovation applies to new vision.

5. Vision never fully arrives. True vision evolves over time, and requires patience and steadfastness. The best leaders never stop allowing their vision to evolve. They execute against the pieces that are clear, but allow the vision to continue to grow. Growth is a symptom of health: in nature, in life, in human development, and in business. Vision can change and pivot over time, but as the leader sees new trends and captures more positive momentum and has new revelation and insight, vision will continue to evolve. Lesser leaders might see this evolution as a challenge to their initial vision — an indictment that they missed something. But, the best leaders allow new insight to shape and grow vision over time. Implication: Be steadfast in allowing, even ensuring, evolution of the vision as new insight emerges.

Successful leaders of breakthrough change and growth subscribe to these 5 beliefs. As you embark on change, innovation or growth initiatives, be encouraged to adopt these beliefs both individually, and to challenge your team to adopt them corporately.

The Garage Group helps corporate teams and brands innovate like startups. Our idea generation and development process leads to bold, new ideas, backed by multi-functional momentum and commitment.

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