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This September edition of The Edge was over halfway written when something that has been on my mind stopped me. I could not cease my thinking about what seemed to be pursuing me, or at the least, pursuing my attention. Firstly, the topic about which I was setting out to write was a continuation of July’s Edge about Generation Y and the impact this new generation is having on our businesses and their leadership. I wanted to talk about developing the “high potentials” of this new generation in your workplace as I have rewarding experience in this arena. It is an important area upon which to focus for the upcoming year. Developing your “high potential” talent delivers ROI both long and short term as well as doubling down as an excellent retention strategy. But something else has muscled its way in.
Have been doing a couple of strategic planning-oriented projects the past few weeks and an oft-asked question came up during one of the pre-planning sessions. The question was asked about whether goals should be small, bite-sized and achievable or BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goals). There is a right answer and it’s, “Yes”. Both/and. But the intent of this communiqué is not to discuss the case for both types of goals. The focus of the remaining word count from here on out is about your dreaming big again. Dreaming big for the company and yourself.
When was it that you stopped dreaming big? Please, no offense. I know most of the people receiving this communiqué and let me tell you that I have some of the most gifted, intelligent, successful, respect-worthy and flat-out enjoyable business leaders in the U.S. on this distribution list. But I have a hunch. Your very giftedness, talent and problem solving ability does something to you. You’ve been rising to the occasion for months upon months. You crunch numbers and the competition. You deliver sanity out of chaos and order from ambiguity. And through all this, as a result of all this, the big bold dream doesn’t get dreamt. At least not like it used to. Practical tends to prevail over possible. Tactical responsibilities reign.
You know you are after a big bold dream when you dare to look foolish. When you imagine beyond your resources to create the future, others experience your leadership at its finest. How much of 2013 are you creating right now? Are you willing to challenge others with the unprecedented? Why not give your dream a deadline and inspire focused dedication and excitement like never before?
It seems as if American business needs creative and daring leadership now more than ever. Some businesses will fail next year as their leadership has grown faint. Still other businesses will thrive as their leaders dare to create a compelling future worth striving for.
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