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:
- Is it relevant?
- Is it timely?
- Does it address real needs?
- Do outcomes justify investments?
- 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?
Excellent advice, Dan. Best wishes in moving forward with your exciting venture!
Following the birth metaphor, I offer this: having birthed two kids and numerous large-scale professional projects, there’s another lesson in helping a vision become reality – it’s messy and painful. Be prepared for both. But know in the end, you get a beautiful “baby” out of the deal.
Leaders enable other people’s dreams to the benefit of Everyone !
Good stuff Dan! Nothing better than pouring into young people! We tend to underestimate what we have to offer others. Your time and life wisdom is, as they say, priceless! Best to you on your new venture! I believe surrounding yourself with young people keeps you younger!
What a priviledge to be people minded… I believe that sometimes when people feel threatened and insecure in themselves, dreaming with others regardless of their age can be extremely challenging.
I appreciate Dan’s insight on encouraging us to share the dream with the right people – I know for me I have felt discouraged many times because I shared my dream with the wrong people.
I have decided to pick up my dream and I am going to find the right people to share the dream with.
Again thank you,
Dreams provide direction. The make like meaningful. They are true north that either individual or team follow. But only dreams are not enough. One has to make right effort to materialize it. I believe, all dreams are not good. Some dreams remain dream for ever. Some dreams are achieved. It means, dreams are related to potentials and limitations. We need to take care these dimensions before conceiving and hatching dreams.Now which dream is good or bad? Any dream to fulfill personal interest like comparing, impressing or showing others just to make one superior than others may not categorize as a good dream. Though there is nothing wrong in fulfilling personal dream but just to compare is the matter of discourse. Dreams are like raw or robust ideas that are shaped and strengthened by emotion, passion and sacrifices. I also believe that utility and effectiveness of dream can be measured through its long term impact. So, leaders can facilitate the birth of a dream by showing its impact on people, organizations, and society.
And any dream that is short sighted, group specific or on the cost of others sacrifices could be avoided.
Just to recall our history, everything that we see, feel and realize today has been achieved through dreams. Just see the power of those dreams. They are so powerful that we still enjoy its impact.So, you want to make your dream powerful, visualize, convince and it impact. This is the way, all great leaders could create and give birth to dreams.
Interesting subject Dan. As always, thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Just these past few days I’ve been trying to find peace, or be at ease, with the question of how to bring a vision to reality, specially one that: 1- is of value to you; 2- can only be accomplished by a team; 3- requieres full time work.
How to invite professionals to fulfill your vision (enhance it, complete it) without losing the lead?
I went from paralizing fear, to selfish efforts to gather people that would do the work needed to make the vision in exchange for as little as possible.
I feel one has to let go at some point. Gather the right people round, shoot the idea as clearly as possible, and hope for the best. Just like when planting a seed, you can only water the soil and make sure it catches the sun light, and just wait for the flower to pop out on its own.
Again, thanks for your many many interesting posts!
Facilitate the birth of a dream by inspiring a shared vision vs. coming from just you.
This is just what I needed to hear in regards to a couple of new projects! Now it is time to press forward and build my dream team!
While it may not always be easy to identify the “right” people with whom to share your vision; sometimes it is a matter of sharing it with enough people so that even if some wrong ones get mixed in, eventually it will reach the right ones.
Quick comment: I really do appreciate the way that you keep me focused on becoming a better leader. Keep up the great, provocative thoughts.
And I will say this about your dream: it is already happening here in Huntsville, Texas without your knowing. I regularly put your thoughts in front of the “highly dedicated” group of college students that help me lead the Kats for Christ (KFC) ministry at Sam Houston State University! The seven students that make up the KFC Leadership Team continue to make this ministry shine in spite of my own goof-ups!
Anyway, I thought you would like to know this as you continue to dream.