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Monday, March 12, 2012

Thinking Big

Thinking Bigger
By: Tom Flick
When organizations and individuals attempt to move forward, it is almost entirely an intellectual exercise.  We’re educated people so we say, “The ROI has been rigorous.”  “The market analysis is exceptional.”  “It’s the right thing to do at this market time.”  We race forward in the brain and leave the heart far behind.  As noted by change-expert, Harvard Professor, Dr. John Kotter, the reality is, analytics don’t move people forward.  People won’t rally behind 43 initiatives.  It’s too sterile.  When it comes to affecting behavior, creating fast moving actions around important issues, trying to achieve our best everyday – feelings are more influential than thought.  

That’s why the concept behind the power of a dream (or big opportunity) and creating a compelling picture of the future and the belief system that supports it – both individually and collectively – is so powerful.  We don’t live in a society of rich vs. poor as much as we live in a society of dreamers vs. non-dreamers.  Organizations are made up of people who long to be part of something bigger than themselves, who want to know their work is for a greater cause.  Without a big dream or compelling picture of the future, people won’t give the added effort or make the needed sacrifices required to sustain success. Gaining true urgency around a compelling cause engages both the head and heart of followers.
Ask yourself these questions:
What motivates you?
What’s your purpose?
How do you focus energy or how do you get people to focus their energy?
What’s your picture of your future?
What is it that you really do?
The power of a dream – chasing a compelling picture of your future – answers those questions.  It creates the belief that great opportunities are ahead.  It brings alive what is possible and why.  It engages the head and heart of followers.  It stirs our passion while eliminating unimportant items off our calendar.  Social psychologists say that we spend 90% of waking time gathering information and data to support two things—our past and our present, which leaves just 10% of our time to think about our future—and that’s where the magic lies.  The truth is, we don’t usually get what we want, but we most always get what we expect.  Why?  Because the ideas in our head rule our world.  We subconsciously move towards our most dominant thoughts and belief system; that big dream, the compelling picture or big opportunity can actually move us from where we presently are, to a future place of more value; where we wish to be.  Time and time again, I’ve witnessed the impact of big dreams on individuals and organizations.  Whether it’s becoming the first man on the moon, the most compassionate hospital, the most service-oriented hotel or the world’s greatest athlete, people want to be called to something bigger than themselves.  Your job as a leader is to ignite that passion and rally your team towards that brighter better future.

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