On Easter Sunday two days ago, I heard a beautiful message about the importance of dreaming. Dreamers are people who see things others don’t see. The skeptic says: “I will believe it when I see it.” The dreamer says: “I will see it when I believe it!” Dreamers are people who transform organizations and industries. They also disrupt organizations and industries. For dreamers the disruption is fun and exciting. For the people who don’t see the dream, or feel the excitement, they feel disrupted. And that’s not much fun.
Why good leadership matters
Good leaders honor the voice of the skeptics who help them understand the barriers and risks. But they accept the barriers as part of the challenge to make the dreams come alive anyway!
Last week I was in a beautiful meeting, hosted by a good leader. A new CEO was recruited to replace a founder who sold the majority interest in the company two years ago. Since that time, the firm has been in steady decline. They stopped dreaming. And the skeptics took control.
What makes a meeting beautiful?
The meeting was “beautiful” because the CEO stood in front of 75% of the employees in a public meeting to be accountable, and dream. He was flanked by the executive team, who evaluated all of their 13 major metrics with a red, yellow, or green status indicator. The financial results were red. The process goals were mostly green with just a few yellows. The meeting was beautiful, because the discussion was transparent, honest, and inspiring…even though the results were not “good.”
The magic happened when the new CEO shared his dream for their future. “The results we see today are a product of a stale and lukewarm vision,” he explained. “We can’t sit around and wait for things to return to the good old days,” he continued. “I’m convinced we can partner with our ownership group to start purchasing some of our competitors to assemble the best and brightest engineers…so we can be the innovator that shapes the future of our industry.”
In a room full of professionally-trained skeptics, the CEO changed the tide by being a dreamer. But it wasn’t “his dream” alone. It came from his team. That’s really beautiful.
Each one of us are dreamers. And there are dreamers in our businesses, our churches, our school systems, and in our families. Are you listening to their dreams? Are you sharing yours?