How to Give Birth to Your Dream

It’s been over a year since I talked with my wife about a dream I have for enriching the lives of an exclusive group of highly dedicated college students. Recently, the opportunity arose to discuss it with key players who could make it happen.

Responses are nearly immediate and universally enthusiastic. Next week I’ll host a vision meeting to clarify mission and identify key issues.

Gathering a team:

Share your vision with committed individuals who already share your values. I have many friends who don’t value students the way I do. I’m not sharing this dream with them. They’re great people, but approaching them would be like pushing rocks up hill.

Leadership Lesson #1: If you have to convince others your vision has value, you may be talking to the wrong people.

Leadership Lesson #2: If you share your vision with those who share your values and they aren’t enthusiastic, re-evaluate your vision. For example, ask:

  1. Is it relevant?
  2. Is it timely?
  3. Does it address real needs?
  4. Do outcomes justify investments?
  5. Is it a communication issue?

In this case, enthusiasm emerged quickly. I’m pressing forward.

Warning: Avoid surrounding yourself with yes-men. Executing a radical vision requires hard thinking and harder work. Head-nodders won’t take you there.

Power of great ideas:

Great ideas inspire others to think their own ideas.

They take your vision and run with it. On one hand, you want them to run. On the other, it may feel like they are changing or stealing your vision.

Great dreams require great teams.

Leadership Lesson #3:

Cling to core outcomes and invite others to mold and make your vision. Letting go gives space for others to own.

Participation in formation
inspires profound ownership.

I’m not suggesting you forget your dream. I’m saying; invite others dream along with you.

How can leaders facilitate the birth of a dream?

What pitfalls should be avoided?