Always the provocateur, self-described professional loudmouth Tom Peters tweeted:
“‘Vision’ has always sounded woo woo to me.”
I replied, “That’s a train, Tom.”
And we enjoyed a brief, virtual chuckle.
I could kid him, because I understood where Tom was coming from (I think).
The idea that we can anticipate an unknowable future is folly.
The number of variables, especially today, are way beyond anyone’s control.
Hence Tom’s bedrock belief:
“Execution is strategy—it’s all about the people and the doing, not the talking and the theory.”
I wholeheartedly agree.
You’ll never envision where the doing will take you.
Take Sarah Koenig.
Executive producer of the hit podcast “Serial.”
In a recent interview she revealed her surprise at the doing, and at the unexpected unfolding of events.
“The popularity of this podcast, I was unprepared for.
I think a lot of that is the fact that it’s a crime. It’s a murder case.
I had not banked on that’s what people are responding to.
It’s not our great idea and our wonderful storytelling; it’s just that people can’t resist a murder mystery.
I really did not appreciate that until now.
I’m afraid there probably is some of that out there, where it’s just a caper.
And that’s fine. I think that’s not our interest, though.
That’s not our intention.
I think our intention is more complicated and probably more subtle, and maybe too subtle.”
So her vision, her intention, is not what drove her runaway success.
I’ll let you in on a little secret.
One that the accomplished few either hide or, more likely, forget while reconstructing their amazing narratives.
We’ve been led to believe that success has everything to do with our ability to predict and control.
But it’s simply not true.
Very little about success has to do with vision, with conscious intent.
Success lies in the doing.
In trying, letting go and trusting the process.
Business is a lot like science that way.
Max Planck wrote:
“Science . . . means unresting endeavor and continually progressing development toward an aim which the poetic intuition may apprehend, but the intellect can never fully grasp.”
So yes, have an aim.
One that stirs your soul.
But then get going.
Your vision will become clear as you relentlessly move toward it.