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Follow the Yellow-brick Road

Why Vision?

A vision is what carries you through dark times.  Life is a journey along a Yellow-brick road.  When you begin it, you see the road dip in and out of view into valleys and chasms.  Yet far in the distance you see it emerge from woods and obstacles to reach its destination, the Emerald City.


Many times on the journey you find yourself in what appear to be pits.  The walls are sheer and it appears there is no way out of them.  Faith consists of knowing that the road you walked in on, is the road you walk out on.  Vision is what carries your faith.


Just as this introduction uses a simple analogy to explain its purpose, vision is best communicated in this fashion, as a clear and concise story which embodies your goals, methods, and character.  My vision for example, is to show people how to feel immortality in every moment.



The following checklists give examples of how to communicate your vision and minimize resistance to it.


Tips to Know

1.         Communicate consistently

2.         Communicate repeatedly

3.         Communicate in many different arenas

4.         Communicate it in your actions

5.         Communicate it to your direct reports above, below, and laterally


Pitfalls to Avoid

1.         Beware of hypocrisy

a.         Do not contradict the vision in speech

b.         Do not contradict the vision in action

2.         When you cannot change your actions, explain them in a release or announcement

3.         Get the right people on the bus and the right people off the bus


Dealing with Resistance

1.         Convert the resistance

2.         Disarm the resistance

3.         Avoid the resistance

4.         Eliminate the resistance


Checklist Summary

Key to vision is communicating clearly, minimizing hypocrisy, and dispersing resistance.  Whenever you act you are either reinforcing or undermining your vision.  The costs of contradicting your vision are horrendous.  You spend weeks, months, and even years formulating something destroyed in one careless word or action.


Thus you must align all that you do and train those above, below and lateral to you.  Communicate this vision in thousands of small transactions every day rather than through large big-ticket promotions alone.  The daily grind tempers your mettle.


When you encounter resistance, your first step can be to convert it.  Try to persuade and cajole the fearful through small steps.  Sometimes conversion is impossible, avoid the resistance at this point.  When you cannot avoid it, disarm it by rendering its powers against your vision moot.  Do this through transfers, and marginalization if necessary.  Finally, if you must, eliminate the resistance through layoffs or enforced retirement.


These simple steps and guidelines can help remind us that vision is everything.  Tell a man he is stacking bricks and they will be crooked and inconsistent, tell him that he is building the tallest building in the world that will stand for a century, and you have perfect rows.



Collins, Jim (2001). Good to Great. New York: Harper Collins

Kotter, John P. (1996). Leading Change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press

By | 2007-06-18T06:52:29+00:00 June 18th, 2007|Perspectives, Philosophy|2 Comments


  1. Laura June 18, 2007 at 8:05 am - Reply

    Gou ~

    I really enjoyed your perspective on vision. Although this is focused on business, I am able to apply this to any aspect of my life, be it my family, my education, or my personal desires and goals. Often, I find that I desire something but have myself talked out of it due to what people will say or think before I even begin the journey! I feel inspired to recapture my vision in life and apply this to my own self!

  2. perfectparadox June 18, 2007 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Absolutely Laura. I use this metaphor mainly for my own personal vision, though I adapt it here to business. Thank you again for your wonderful work on Finding Your Soulmate. Please let me know when it goes live, so I can share this gift with others.


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