I attended a leadership conference last weekend. The key element I get from these weekends is vision. In normal life, most of the people with whom I interact have modest goals and dreams. Put in 30 or so years at their job and then retire. Most are oblivious to the forces that are making those goals more and more difficult to achieve. With a long-term vision of what is possible and some soul-stirring you can move forward in spite of the obstacles and criticism. Last weekend, I was surrounded by people who don’t make small plans. It is a big difference. The audience was energized with big plans for financial independence, personal freedom and a mission to restore our country to the principles of the founders. Souls were definitely stirred.
Level 5 Leadership
The leaders of this organization have mastered Machiavelli’s advice and with their ambitious mission have plowed right through impossible obstacles and succeeded. They provide models for everyone and offer level 5 leadership, which most of us never experience day to day.
Coming back to normal life after this weekend is a challenge. Interacting with average people and their small plans is jarring. Working at the level 2 and 3 organizations where most of us are employed grinds people down. Keeping your mind on lofty goals is difficult when everyone around you is staring at the ground and thinking only of the minute.
Lost our way
How did our country get to this state of small thinking and stagnant souls? That is a long story and too contentious to go into here. Ask instead what can restore the American spirit and can do attitude.
The Magic of Thinking Big
Part of the answer is opening your mind to big ideas and big plans. One thing that I do from time to time is reread “The Magic of Thinking Big.” By David J. Schwartz. This is the kind of thinking we have as children but get knocked out of us – if not by the education system, then certainly when we start working. It is the kind of thinking that gets laughed at by small plan America whenever anyone looks up and dares to dream big. Without big plans and the big dreams that drive us to achieve, we stay mired in the present. It is exciting to get stirred up by an auditorium full of big planners. The challenge is to put those big plans into action once you return to the small plan world.