Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Not everything that has a beginning is great, but everything that is great has a beginning – make sure 2017 is beginning with God.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. If things aren’t working for you, it’s probably because they’re not working together. Make sure your systems create synergy.
1 Samuel 21:8 And David said to Ahimelech, “Is there not here on hand a spear or a sword? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.” Speed is often a better weapon than a sword or a spear. Make sure your systems can respond to changing circumstances with haste.
Luke 19:23 ‘Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’
Jesus suggested to even the wicked servant that he should have used systems where profit grows instantly, continuously and effortlessly, like interest at the bank.
Deuteronomy 8:18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”
Simply remembering can create wealth. Make sure your systems include reminders so the important things don’t get forgotten and do create wealth.
Habakkuk 2:2 Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.”
Making things plain is powerful – it can turn readers into runners. Ensure your systems bring simplicity, not complexity, so they power up your profits.
Isaiah 48:17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.
God could have chosen any method of helping us to profit, but He chose to be the teacher; the fastest path to profit is teaching. Make sure your systems include leading others so they know the ideal way to go.
I was 12. In my first year of high school. Learning new subjects, compulsory subjects that I had no interest in.
The first word I learned in German was “Achtung”.
My teacher was very fond of saying it.
I’d heard it in the war movies my dad was fond of, too.
Little did I know how important “attention”, in any language, would become in my life.
Today’s economy, including vast tech profits from blogging and social media, is predicated on this oh so powerful concept.
If people aren’t paying attention to you, they won’t be paying money to you, or anything else, either.
Like him or loathe him, Donald Trump, is brilliant at getting attention. In television, real estate and presidential campaigns, the ability to garner attention is one of the key drivers of success. And, as Donald has discovered more recently, attention is a double-edged sword that can just as easily bring failure.
Whilst you’re reading this you’re probably not paying attention to the temperature your skin is feeling, how hungry your stomach is, the smell of your body odour, the taste of the saliva in your mouth, the way your face is resting, the sounds surrounding you and a thousand other things. The Reticular Activating System in your brain has filtered them out so you can focus your attention on learning (great decision by the way! ;-).
Have you ever had the experience where you’ve bought a new car or new dress and then suddenly you see it appearing everywhere? It’s not because they weren’t there before. It’s just that now you’ve started paying attention, you can see what has always been there. It’s the job of the brain to *not* notice most things. You are receiving information on things all the time – and 99.9% of things are filtered out from your attention automatically by the brain.
In the bible, the word “attention” is used more in Proverbs than in any other book. The writer of Proverbs was the wisest man in all the world. He urges us to pay attention to wisdom, understanding, words of instruction.
King Solomon also warns kings that when the leader is paying attention to lies it can multiply results and transform all of his team into “wicked” servants. Be very careful about placing the full force of your organisation on something that no-one should be paying attention to.
Where you place your attention is a fundamental tenet of wisdom. If you use your attention wisely, strategically, it can radically transform your results.
I’m amazed what most people *think* is their biggest problem. It might be their weight, their debt, their back pain, their partner. But really, the source of most of these problems, is that they are paying attention to the wrong things. Even the fact that they think these problems are their biggest problem is, more often than not, the cause as well as the symptom of their real problems. And usually it is also blocking them from seeing the solutions they need.
Political campaigners know that there are all kinds of things we can give attention to; sex, sports, stocks, soap operas… We can get all caught up in gossip, criticism, fear… and politics.
Or we can give our attention to faith, opportunities, success, profits, the best in people, things we can be thankful for, tolerance, patience, amazing grace, love.
Every day, every second really, you have a fresh opportunity to choose where to place your attention. Do it strategically, and you’ll find that one act alone will transform your results.
If I haven’t said it to you before, thank you for reading. I appreciate your attention.
Robert Redford, Steve Jobs, David Cameron… all the best leaders spend at least some of their time casting vision.
But why? What is it about vision-casting that is so productive for already powerful, global leaders?
Well, firstly, vision effects outcome. And sometimes the stakes can be really high. Consider Britain’s decision this week on whether to remain or leave the European Economic Union.
The future of an entire nation changed in one day. Powerful!
On the other side of the world, Australian shares lost $50 billion of value in shock.
The question of whether to stay or “Brexit” was quintessentially a question of vision. What kind of future did the people of Britain want? A future based on the possibilities of partnership with their powerful neighbours in Europe, or the freedom and control of a self-reliant future.
To cast their competing visions, leaders travelled the length and breadth of the country, several times over, to meet with people personally. Yes, there were brochures, and media appearances and social media campaigns, but the majority of time spent by the leaders was spent in front of a voter’s face.
At first glance, especially from a time-management point of view, this might seem like an incredibly unproductive thing to do. Why shake one person’s hand, when you could tweet to twenty million during that same time? Why address a small community meeting of eighty entrepreneurs in a tiny village when you could instead be interviewed on BBC broadcasting to eight million viewers?
Even Donald Trump, who doesn’t like shaking hands with anyone, and will (*probably) tell you himself “I’ve made a lot of money in media, I’m very good on television. I translate very well on Twitter”, has spent months out on the road criss-crossing America with personal appearances.
It’s all about the Proximity of Presence. There’s something about being in the presence of the vision-holder that doesn’t quite transcend into traditional and social media. Blogs and those other channels are great supplements, reminders and reinforcements, but for truly productive vision-casting think Michelle Pfeifer and Robert Redford – try and get all Up Close and Personal. (Yes, I realise the irony of quoting a non-personal appearance to encourage personal appearances 😉
Okay, so we’ve answered why vision-casting is necessary (the stakes are high), we’ve answered how to do it (up close and personal). But why does it work so effectively?
Here’s how Steve Jobs answered that question:
Ephron W. Taylor said it this way. “Define the vision (this is the seed of self-leadership)”.
Leaders multiply into more leaders through vision-casting. Leaders help you lead yourself, and ultimately lead others, by planting and nourishing vision.
If a leader can plant the seed of vision in you, she doesn’t have to spend mountains of energy or time to motivate you towards success, that seed will grow generations of motivation in you, from the inside out. You’ll probably even start dropping seeds in your own network of contacts.
Vision is the ultimate leverage. You’ll achieve much more, with much less, if you cast vision seeds that grow into their own orchards of vision in others. And it’s massively scaleable – vision can multiply rapidly.
So next time you are talking with someone you want to work with, think of the weird old Christmas Carol lyric:
“Do you see what I see?” (it also talks about lambs, talking wind, and stars with tails who have apparently gone out for a disco – probably best NOT to think about those things if you want your vision to sound credible 😉
Said the night wind to the little lamb,
do you see what I see
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
do you see what I see
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite
With a tail as big as a kite
The vision locomotive just pulled an entire nation into massive change in one day – such massive and quantifiable change it had billions of dollars of economic impacts in the hip pockets of investors on the other side of the world. And that’s just day one of the changes.
If you want your work to produce such powerful and productive effects, lead with your hand. Get off the computer for a change and go and shake someone’s hand. Because if we can learn anything from sexy Robert Redford, it’s that even the most visionary leaders look better up close and personal.