March 7, 2011

Leading with Vision

Avatar sinks Titanic in record sales

James Cameron’s latest film Avatar sunk the acclaimed director’s last huge success, Titanic,
as the highest-grossing movie worldwide. 

Cameron beat himself with
his new motion picture, as the sci-fi spectacular racked up a slew of
Oscar wins and nominations. 

The 1997 production
Titanic made $1.843 billion worldwide to prove that it is one the most popular films in the history of Hollywood. Avatar has surpassed the amount by already reaching international ticket sales of $1.859 billion. (Source: PRESS TV

Have you seen it?  My son Nate said “Dad come see it with us, it’s
awesome!”  When you son invites you to a show and agrees to pay $13.50
for you to see it in 3-D, well you do it.  I enjoyed my imaginary trip
to Pandora.  I love a good story and James Cameron has an amazing
ability to envision other worlds that captivate your imagination and
leave you wanting more when the credits start rolling.

Apparently a lot of people enjoyed Cameron’s cruise through Pandora.  At the time I saw Avatar,
over 76 other million people had also purchased a ticket and loved it! 
Some loved it too much. The news media shared reports of people
experiencing post-show depression over leaving the unreal reality of
Pandora for the unfortunate reality of their own life.

Why were people so deeply touched by Cameron’s creation?  Was it the
conflict between good and evil with good conquering in the end?  Or was
it the romance gone wrong then right that touched us the most?  It could
be the sci-fi escapist capability to mind meld with an ancient creature
and fly like a jet fighter.

I think there’s something else. It’s the vision Cameron painted with
his digital canvas. He portrayed an imagined reality that millions
desired to experience. All of us are attracted to a compelling vision. 
Vision is captivating and powerful. If cast well it captures our
emotions and causes us to think differently. That’s visions greatest
value; it compels people to move to it and if called upon dedicate
themselves to fulfilling it.

As leaders we need to understand the value of vision and dedicate
ourselves to discovering how we can captivate people’s imagination with
the compelling visions God has entrusted to us.  Compelling and
captivating visions require skill and strategy.

Vision Skill

James Cameron’s vision skill is designing his vision before deploying
it. Cameron invested years in crafing his vision and story with its
content and characters.  Here’s an important question to consider: how
well designed is your vision? Have you invested enough time in vision
design sessions to clearly know what you’re called to achieve and how it
will play out in the lives of people.? My mistake over the years has
been to deploy a vision and ask people to embrace it before it was fully
developed. This does not work.  People today are much more vision savvy
and they will only dedicate themselves to compelling visions that are
well thought, simple, easy to understand with clear results.  Then they
will commit to them.

Vision is much more than core values and purpose statements. Our visions need:

  • A vivid description describing in a narrative story what the vision accomplishes in lives when people participate.
  • A strategy with clear sequential steps to achieving them.
  • A visual model that illustrates to people your vision concept so
    they can see it and embrace it more fully.  As the saying goes a picture
    is worth a thousand words. Cameron’s Avatar was only a one dimensional
    story until he and his team designed their blue characters in the
    Pandora playground.

Vision Strategy

This brings us to the strategy to build a compelling vision that others
will embrace. All great visions require time; time to envision, design,
redesign, discuss with others, and refine until a masterpiece emerges.
Here is the vision strategy process that has worked for hundreds of
great visionaries:

Schedule vision engineering time each week in your schedule to review
and refine your vision. At first it may be a whole day and as your
vision develops further it will move to less time. Vision is not static
but rather dynamic and requires continual energy to refine it and refuel
it in you so you can re-fire it in others.  Involve your team members
in vision discussions, mining for their valuable insights as a component
of your vision engineering process.

Once your vision is designed well develop a plan to deploy it
continually. Use all learning mediums possible including; written,
spoken, video, social media.

You have a vision that is God-inspired and we need it!  Invest in your vision, design it well and deploy it. Avatar is just a fairy tale but what God has placed on your heart is real and will change the world!

Have faith and move forward,
Coach Greg