By: Alan Stein, Jr.
Originally Published in: Raise Your Game
I don't believe there's such a thing as a "million-dollar idea." The phrase implies that all you have to do is come up with an idea and the money will start flowing in. But that's not how it works. It's never once worked like that. Vision doesn't stop with coming up with an idea; if it did, there would be way more billionaires sitting around thinking up more ideas. It's about executing that idea, and that execution requires others' help. You have to sell your vision by building a dedicated and tight circle that feels strongly connected to you and to it. True leaders live and die by their vision and get others to do so as well. Communicating your vision is a must. According to the Carnegie Institute of Technology, "85% of your financial success is due to your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Only 15% is due to technical knowledge."
Vision is about carrying both the big and the small, the now and the later, the intangible concept and the tangible steps. "The most productive people push themselves to come up with big goals," wrote Charles Duhigg in Smarter Faster Better, "and then have a system for breaking them into manageable parts." Draw a connection between what you ultimately want to accomplish, along with what you want your organization to be, and then break it all down into the manageable steps it will take to get there.
"Any vision, however far-reaching, remains only a fantasy unless steps are taken to realize it," Maury Klein wrote in The Change Makers, a book that profiles the greatest entrepreneurs of the last 150 years. "What separates the great artist from the ordinary practitioner is not only grandeur of vision but, even more, the ability to bring it to fruition." Remember, the word "vision" in business is usually associated with predicting the future, but the word itself is simpler than that: it just means to see. No one will see exactly what you can see. Keep your eyes open.