Last week in one of our roundtables we talked a lot about crafting a compelling, emotional, and inspiring vision. A lot of leaders struggle with this. Many times, a company’s vision, or “BHAG” – short for Big Hairy Audacious Goal, is set around financial metrics. Most of the leaders in the round table had gone through several different iterations of this kind of vision, and many did not find them particularly inspiring.
One CEO shared their vision with us, and it was truly inspiring. It was extremely bold, audacious, and awe-inspiring. When he told the story of this vision, the leaders in the roundtable had emotional responses, and could picture it for themselves.
The CEO related how having this vision had helped to truly inspire his company to do better, do more, and even how it helped his company and team get through the COVID-19 crisis. Inspired, united, and motivated by this shared vision, he and his team have executed a complete pivot in their distribution model in just four weeks, and he related that the day before our meeting, they had set a new one day sales record for the history of the company using their new distribution.
Yesterday I was able to work with one of our CEO members for the day. Our goal was to craft an inspiring vision for their company to power growth for the next 10 years. To provide what is, to my knowledge, the best example of a powerful and perspective-shifting vision, I recommended we start the session by watching a video of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech. I hadn't seen it in some time, and they had never seen it. It was incredible to re-watch it given the revolutionary energy of this moment in time and the recent events following the murder of George Floyd.
Our day was very productive, and we uncovered an audacious and exciting vision for this CEO’s company.
Our meeting, the roundtable session, and watching that speech have all made me pause and reflect in many different ways. One is thinking about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King nearly 60 years later. How things have changed since then, and unfortunately how many things haven’t changed. We still need audacious dreams and bold hopes from leaders who want to impact the world.
It's making me think hard about my legacy, how I will be remembered, and how I want to be remembered.
I invite you to re-watch Dr. King's historic speech, reflect on the time, on his words, and the legacy he and others like him have left.
60 years from now, what will your legacy be?