Without vision what is the purpose?

“Vision is a destination – a fixed point to which we focus all effort. Strategy is a route – an adaptable path to get us where we want to go.”

Simon Sinek

This is one of the best statements I have ever seen for codifying the difference between vision and strategy. For example, you might have the personal vision to use your life to positively and permanently impact the lives of others. This vision doesn’t change course dramatically as you move through life, if anything your vision will become more and more refined and perhaps even narrower as you more fully understand your purpose and reason for being.

The strategies you choose to actualize your vision will by necessity change and evolve as the world changes and as you change. Those things which worked 10 years ago to enable your vision might have lost their effectiveness or perhaps are tools and techniques you might have outgrown.

A good friend and mentor reminded me about 7 – 8 months ago of this simple wisdom from the book of Proverbs. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18

Simply put, without a vision, all the effort we put into living our lives is suboptimal to our true calling and capabilities. All the strategies, routes, and plans mean nothing, if you don’t know where you are going…

a writing on the wall
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

If you really want to drive change don’t try and fit in…

“Avoid the crowd. Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.”

Ralph Charell

It is amazing how much of our lives we spend trying to conform to one expectation or another. How much time we spend trying to “fit in” instead of focus on how we can “stand out.”

When I was in 3rd grade I moved to a new school and made the decision to have everyone call me by my first name “Jon” instead of the nickname “Dusty” which I had gone by my entire life. My reasoning was that there wasn’t anyone else with my name and fitting in was more important than standing out.

After one year of going by my first name, I realized there was more value in standing out and being different than there was in trying to fit in and being like everyone else. I’ve gone by “Dusty” ever since.

Fitting in doesn’t drive or create change, that only comes from those who are willing to stand out. So if change is your game, find a way to stand out…

person in red top standing on road while looking to the mountains
Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

Paint the picture, dang it…

“Strategy is a commodity, execution is an art.”

Peter Drucker

There isn’t a single painting, sculpture, photograph, or music composition in the world that has ever been “dreamed into existence.” Sure, the artist had to have the vision and see something that no one else could see, but then the magic has to happen.

The real magic and genius of creation is the unique ability to see the future AND have the necessary discipline to DO THE WORK...

Imagine how masterpieces have died because they could never get out of the mind of their creator. Don’t let this be you. Follow this age-old advice. “Plan your work, work your plan…” If you don’t, you aren’t an artist, you are just a fan of dreaming…

nativity painting of people inside a dome
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Strategy vs. Execution…

“Without strategy, execution is aimless. Without execution, strategy is useless.”

Morris Chang

I love how this quote frames the importance of both strategy and execution so succinctly.  How do you measure success?  Is it by having great intent, or by achieving great results?   It is the results in life that matter right?  But only if they are created through intentional focus and effort.  Time is going to pass either way, so we better make it count… 

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