Goals- Compelling Vision
If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you. Steve Jobs
Helen Keller quote: The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. Helen Keller
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it. Michelangelo
All successful people, men and women, are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose. Brian Tracy
You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. Mark Twain
Jay Z the rapper labelled his record company – ‘ Roc- A –Fella’ records. His desire was to model his business after John D Rockefeller, the 20th Century’s most prominent business magnate and titan.
Rockefeller shaped the World’s Oil Industry and impacted other industries. He had tremendous influence on the strategic direction of medical research, certification and general philanthropic causes that have had immeasurable impact that has lived beyond his physical demise from the planet.
That’s the impact of visionary thinking it’s impact transcends the death and physical presence of the founder and proponent for many years and centuries. It inspires future generations to emulate that leap of faith and make their own impact on the planet.
Visionary and Transformational Goals
Vision – Definition courtesy of merriam-webster.com
a: the act or power of imagination
b (1): mode of seeing or conceiving
(2): unusual discernment or foresight
Visions are aspirational goals or dreams we would like to achieve or fulfil. These can either be individual, corporate, community or national goals. They are easily matched to our wish list and our bucket list. They are the real deal of what we aspire to be.
It’s a picture and concept of the best you, a company, a community and a nation at its best. It’s the perfect outcome and results we aspire to attain. It’s the dreams coming into reality and fruition. It’s the BIG PICTURE that transcends time.
Visions are what inspire and motivate us to wake up each day and reach for the sky. They are what encourage us to pull through hard times to achieve the end aspiration.
Visions are also dynamic we can achieve our dreams and get other bigger dreams and targets to achieve. They are like scaling a mountain once you reach one peak you have to aim to reach a higher peak.
What’s the next frontier? Visions always answer the next quest. Man reached the moon the next target has been set. Mars is the next target. The same applies to individuals we always need to be aspiring to get to the next level.
Majestic Buildings and Vision
The best analogy to describe a vision is to bring to focus any majestic building. An architect’s three dimensional rendering of a proposed building is the vision and dream. The Eiffel tower, the Empire State building, the Pretonas Towers were once visions and concepts in architect’s minds before they were brought to reality.
That building concept or 3 Dimensional render is a vision of the completed site. All other building plans from the electrical, plumbing, interior design, civil works, and structural plans are all derived from the architect’s master plan.
The detailed building project schedules and goals are all derived from the architect’s master plan. It is the over aching vision and guide that propels and drives all work at the construction site. All plans refer to the master plan to ensure the final vision of the building site is realised.
The building’s purpose is realised through the architect’s plan. It might be a theatre, hospital, school, residential house, office block etc. Once any individual has sight of the master plan and concept they should instantly realise the purpose of the building.
Watching Supercars manufactured is also a wonder to behold. Cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugati, Mercedes Benz, the Rolls Royce Bentley etc are marvels of design and engineering. They all started with the vision laid out by the founders and designers.
The end products are works of engineering feats that leave spectators in awe. This is only achieved by dreaming big and having majestic visions. Visions are at that lofty and high level aspirational boost that make the impossible possible.
Visionary thinking and dreams tie directly to purpose. These are what give fuel to other sub goals and plans.
If you want to know what legacy and the impact of visionary thinking do a select sampling of names in any village, town or city. You will not be surprised that quite a substantial number of individuals have the same surnames or first names. They might not be related but the names will keep on popping up.
We have individuals named ‘Julius Caesar’, ‘Mark Anthony’, ‘George Washington’ found in the deepest recesses and villages in Africa showing the impact of vision and deeds. Mohammed is also a common name spread in the Islamic world.
Names of the Christian Apostles are also common throughout the Christian sphere- ‘John’, ‘Matthew’, ‘Luke’. My mother’s first name is ‘Mary’ modelled after Mary the mother of Jesus. This shows how the legacy of individuals can live beyond their lifetime.
Human beings have a tendency to name their kids after individuals that have had the most impact in their life. This could be relatives, community leaders, national leaders, international leaders and celebrities.
The deeds and actions of their heroes impressed them that it led them to name their own children after their heroes. Visionary impact and deeds are the stuff that legends are made of. They are supposed to live on through the ages and leave a mark on society and mankind.
3 Visionary Individuals
South Africa’s first black president had a vision. ‘To free my people from the yoke of apartheid’. That was his guiding vision for the most of his life. He was willing to spend 27 years in prison to achieve that objective.
Once that objective was achieved his next vision was ‘To Unite the Nation’. He forgave those who had imprisoned him and set forth to bring harmony to the nation. He also achieved this and more and was a living example to the rest of the world on the power of vision and it’s ability to have transformational change.
John D Rockefeller
John Rockefeller was the first Titan of American business. He changed the structure of business and brought the modern corporation to the 20th Century. He consolidated the oil refining and extraction industry in the USA under his company Standard Oil
His burning singular vision was to become rich having struggled under childhood poverty. After accomplishing this goal he realised he had to give back to society and formed the modern day philanthropic foundation.
He singularly revolutionized the medical field and ensured scientific methods, process and rigorous qualification standards were brought to the medical sphere. His intervention bore fruit with the eradication of hook worms and yellow fever from America
The Albanian nun based in Calcutta India founded the Missionaries of Charity. It’s vision was to assist the down trodden in society and ensure the terminally ill had a more dignified exit out of earth. Her work drew the attention of key political heads in India and all over the world.
She drew awareness to the plight of the poor and was canonized as a Saint after her death. Her singular vision helped thousands of people who would have perished without her assistance. She received numerous accolades for her work.
I will illustrate examples of three countries that have lifted themselves out of third world status and raised themselves into first world countries due to visionary leadership.
Singapore was a third world country in the 1960’s but managed to lift itself out of the vicious cycle of poverty to a first world country with an approximate Gross Domestic Product of USD 57,000 per annum.
This was accomplished through strategic and visionary thinking. It’s first post independence Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew had the vision and courage to set out a bold vision of where he wanted Singapore to be in the next 50 years.
Singapore is a very tiny country with no natural mineral resources. It only has one strategic advantage which is its strategic location. It’s located next to some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes .
Lee Kuan Yew realised that he had to turn his country to a strategic port of choice. Coupled with that he had to turn the country to a first world services hub. He did this by embedding meritocracy in all levels of society. He got rid of endemic corruption and elevated the national standards to first world standards in all spheres of public life.
He started with the basics and built steadily from there. Singapore has the reputation of having one of the cleanest cities in the world. He enforced public discipline and order. He also raised the education standards of the entire country.
He realised if the country had to achieve its status of a preeminent strategic services hub, the populace had to be educated to the highest standards. He enforced this to the letter. Corporal punishment was administered but
Once the vision was set and minimum standards and thresholds set the country was transformed to the jewel that it is now.
South Korea was also a backward state in the 1960’s. It had a devastating war in the 1950’s as key global super powers fought over influence over the trajectory of the nation. South Korea eventually fell under the control of the United States of America.
The country had to be rebuilt from the ashes of war. With the right vision, focus and assistance from the United States of America the country decided to build a competitive advantage in the areas of heavy manufacturing, engineering and electronics.
Within five decades South Korea had positioned itself as a preeminent engineering and electronics powerhouse. Some of it’s products are household brands in the world e. g Samsung, Daewoo, KIA . Leadership and mentorship from the United States was key to this transformation.
Education standards were elevated with scholarships provided to the best students who studied in the most prestigious universities in the world. These students came back and took over leadership in the public and private sector.
Key Industries were established. Their standards gradually improved over the decades to the world class status we recognise now.
Dubai- United Arab Emirates
The UAE was a third world country in the 1960’s. It relied on fishing and basic trade to drive it’s economy. Oil deposits were discovered and it became one of the major crude oil producers of the world.
One of the states of the UAE realised that this oil resource was not going to last forever. Their leader Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum decided to diversify the economy and build competitive advantage in other economic sectors.
Focus was shifted to the services and tourism sector. They had to capture the world’s imagination first. Dubai City was transformed, some of the biggest architectural master pieces and land marks in the world were built.
Records were set that captured the world’s imagination. The tallest hotel the Burj Khalifa was built. The biggest mall in the world Dubai Mall was constructed. In addition he decided to transform Dubai to a strategic tourist and services hub. Through its flagship airline the Emirates the country has been able to transform itself to a preeminent tourist hub.
With a small population the Sheikh realised that he had to induce the best talent to live and stay in the Emirates. They relaxed tax obligations, they encouraged expatriates with the necessary expertise and skills to relocate and live in the country. He made the environment conducive for them to thrive and live in the city.
Apple was propelled to the limelight through the sheer willpower and vision of it’s founder Steve Jobs. He was one of the early pioneers of the desktop computers and the graphical user interface. His drive was to make beautiful and functional electronic gadgets.
The yardstick of his success was Apple becoming a must have fashion apparel and fashion statement. It became an aspirational item for many people all over the world. This was just due to the vision of this individual
Walt Disney’s vision statement was simple “To make people happy” . He transformed entertainment and took it to another level. A bucket list aspiration for many families is to visit the Walt Disney theme parks in the United States
A simple inspiring vision statement has produced movies and cartoons that have delighted and entertained many generations over the years.
The Swedish interior furnishing giant also has a simple vision statement ‘to create a better everyday life for many people’ That simple statement propelled it’s founder to produce and manufacture furniture that was affordable and with great quality.
The company became a household name globally by sticking to it’s core vision of providing a better customer experience in the furniture sales arena.
John F Kennedy – The Moon shot objective speech
Courtesy of NASA https://er.jsc.nasa.gov/seh/ricetalk.htm
Miller, Mr. Webb, Mr. Bell, scientists, distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen:
I appreciate your president having made me an honorary visiting professor, and I will assure you that my first lecture will be very brief. I am delighted to be here, and I’m particularly delighted to be here on this occasion.
We meet at a college noted for knowledge, in a city noted for progress, in a State noted for strength, and we stand in need of all three, for we meet in an hour of change and challenge, in a decade of hope and fear, in an age of both knowledge and ignorance. The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds.
Despite the striking fact that most of the scientists that the world has ever known are alive and working today, despite the fact that this Nation¹s own scientific manpower is doubling every 12 years in a rate of growth more than three times that of our population as a whole, despite that, the vast stretches of the unknown and the unanswered and the unfinished still far outstrip our collective comprehension.
No man can fully grasp how far and how fast we have come, but condense, if you will, the 50,000 years of man¹s recorded history in a time span of but a half-century. Stated in these terms, we know very little about the first 40 years, except at the end of them advanced man had learned to use the skins of animals to cover them.
Then about 10 years ago, under this standard, man emerged from his caves to construct other kinds of shelter. Only five years ago man learned to write and use a cart with wheels. Christianity began less than two years ago. The printing press came this year, and then less than two months ago, during this whole 50-year span of human history, the steam engine provided a new source of power.
Newton explored the meaning of gravity. Last month electric lights and telephones and automobiles and airplanes became available. Only last week did we develop penicillin and television and nuclear power, and now if America’s new spacecraft succeeds in reaching Venus, we will have literally reached the stars before midnight tonight.
This is a breathtaking pace, and such a pace cannot help but create new ills as it dispels old, new ignorance, new problems, new dangers. Surely the opening vistas of space promise high costs and hardships, as well as high reward.
So it is not surprising that some would have us stay where we are a little longer to rest, to wait. But this city of Houston, this State of Texas, this country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved forward–and so will space.
William Bradford, speaking in 1630 of the founding of the Plymouth Bay Colony, said that all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage.
If this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space.
Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the industrial revolutions, the first waves of modern invention, and the first wave of nuclear power, and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. We mean to be a part of it–we mean to lead it.
For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.
Yet the vows of this Nation can only be fulfilled if we in this Nation are first, and, therefore, we intend to be first. In short, our leadership in science and in industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us to make this effort, to solve these mysteries, to solve them for the good of all men, and to become the world’s leading space-faring nation.
We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own.
Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say the we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.
There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again.
But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency.
In the last 24 hours we have seen facilities now being created for the greatest and most complex exploration in man’s history. We have felt the ground shake and the air shattered by the testing of a Saturn C-1 booster rocket, many times as powerful as the Atlas which launched John Glenn, generating power equivalent to 10,000 automobiles with their accelerators on the floor.
We have seen the site where the F-1 rocket engines, each one as powerful as all eight engines of the Saturn combined, will be clustered together to make the advanced Saturn missile, assembled in a new building to be built at Cape Canaveral as tall as a 48 story structure, as wide as a city block, and as long as two lengths of this field.
Within these last 19 months at least 45 satellites have circled the earth. Some 40 of them were “made in the United States of America” and they were far more sophisticated and supplied far more knowledge to the people of the world than those of the Soviet Union.
The Mariner spacecraft now on its way to Venus is the most intricate instrument in the history of space science. The accuracy of that shot is comparable to firing a missile from Cape Canaveral and dropping it in this stadium between the 40-yard lines.
Transit satellites are helping our ships at sea to steer a safer course. Tiros satellites have given us unprecedented warnings of hurricanes and storms, and will do the same for forest fires and icebergs. We have had our failures, but so have others, even if they do not admit them. And they may be less public.
To be sure, we are behind, and will be behind for some time in manned flight. But we do not intend to stay behind, and in this decade, we shall make up and move ahead.The growth of our science and education will be enriched by new knowledge of our universe and environment, by new techniques of learning and mapping and observation, by new tools and computers for industry, medicine, the home as well as the school.
Technical institutions, such as Rice, will reap the harvest of these gains.
And finally, the space effort itself, while still in its infancy, has already created a great number of new companies, and tens of thousands of new jobs. Space and related industries are generating new demands in investment and skilled personnel, and this city and this State, and this region, will share greatly in this growth.
What was once the furthest outpost on the old frontier of the West will be the furthest outpost on the new frontier of science and space. Houston, your City of Houston, with its Manned Spacecraft Center, will become the heart of a large scientific and engineering community.
During the next 5 years the National Aeronautics and Space Administration expects to double the number of scientists and engineers in this area, to increase its outlays for salaries and expenses to $60 million a year; to invest some $200 million in plant and laboratory facilities; and to direct or contract for new space efforts over $1 billion from this Center in this City.
To be sure, all this costs us all a good deal of money. This year¹s space budget is three times what it was in January 1961, and it is greater than the space budget of the previous eight years combined. That budget now stands at $5,400 million a year–a staggering sum, though somewhat less than we pay for cigarettes and cigars every year.
Space expenditures will soon rise some more, from 40 cents per person per week to more than 50 cents a week for every man, woman and child in the United Stated, for we have given this program a high national priority–even though I realize that this is in some measure an act of faith and vision, for we do not now know what benefits await us.
But if I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun–almost as hot as it is here today–and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out–then we must be bold.
I’m the one who is doing all the work, so we just want you to stay cool for a minute. [laughter] However, I think we’re going to do it, and I think that we must pay what needs to be paid. I don’t think we ought to waste any money, but I think we ought to do the job. And this will be done in the decade of the sixties. It may be done while some of you are still here at school at this college and university.
It will be done during the term of office of some of the people who sit here on this platform. But it will be done. And it will be done before the end of this decade. I am delighted that this university is playing a part in putting a man on the moon as part of a great national effort of the United States of America.
Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, “Because it is there.” Well, space is there, and we’re going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God’s blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.
In summary we can always draw lessons from our environment. Look around you there is constant transformation going on each and every day. What vision do you have for yourself and family. Are you actions transformative? Aim to be the best of the best
Big Think Strategy: How to Leverage Bold Ideas and Leave Small Thinking Behind – Bernd Schmitt
The Magic of Thinking Big – David J Schwartz
The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time: How Apple, Ford, IBM, Zappos, and others made radical choices that changed the course of business – Verne Harnish and the Editors of Fortune Magazine