Of Frogs And Visionaries

It begins as an idea. Once fully developed, the idea takes on a life that has roots in marketing, research, customer service and personal vision while wrapped in a unique blanket of promise.

The growth of the entrepreneurial spirit has much to do with creativity. The following quote is not attributable to any author, but certainly goes to the heart of being a pioneer in business; “Visionary people are visionary partly because of the very great many things they don’t see.”

A visionary doesn’t see the obstacles. They refuse to be deterred by issues others see as stop signs. Visionaries move forward because they have a dream and can’t seem to hear those who are calling for their demise from the sidelines.

The story is told of two frogs that fell into a well. The other frogs came to the edge of the well and saw the futility of the effort to jump from the depths of the abyss. The free frogs told the two frogs to simply accept their fate and die. One frog slumped to the side of the well and eventually died while the other frog kept jumping. The frog eventually jumped high enough to clear the top of the well. When the other frogs asked why he kept jumping when it seemed hopeless he simply responded, “Friends, I’m hard of hearing. I thought your were encouraging me.”

“Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces; but rather than get paralyzed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution.” – Bill Hybels

To be a visionary a person must throw off apathy and walk forward unperturbed by common peer pressure. Each of us will have moments when we are assaulted by common sense wisdom. It is prudent to listen to the concerns of others, but the ultimate decision may rely on something for which others cannot account. In some cases you must walk forward – even if you ultimately fail. Too many settle for a ‘safe’ life and always wonder what they missed when dreams were never considered worth followed.

Certainly there are starry-eyed folks who seem to live from dream to dream and never realize a satisfactory conclusion to any of them. The end result is a lengthy list of failures with just enough dream to start something new.

The best description of the difference between dreamer and visionary comes in a quote from Jim Collins who said, “A visionary company doesn’t simply balance between idealism and profitability: it seeks to be highly idealistic and highly profitable. A visionary company doesn’t simply balance between preserving a tightly held core ideology and stimulating vigorous change and movement; it does both to an extreme. In short, a visionary company … aims to be … both at the same time, all the time.”

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