As I may have mentioned before in my postings, my daughter is my hero! Her drive, focus, maturity and love of music are a constant source of inspiration (and amazement) to me.
Last week we spent a couple of days together since mom had to take a business trip to France. One evening we were having dinner (cooked by yours truly) and having a nice back and forth conversation.
Before long she was talking about her dream of becoming a classical music conductor on the world stage. Soon her eyes began to sparkle as she talked about conducting the Mikhailovsky Orchestra in the production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin in St. Petersburg, Russia. She was suddenly transported to another world and all I could do was listen and smile.
It was a wonderful evening and as I went to bed, I began to ponder on the nature of dreams and their power to propel a person forward and give them the courage to do whatever it takes to fulfil their vision of the future. To be honest, being in the presence of any human being who is captured by their dreams for the future is uplifting, and also humbling.
The my mind began to turn, as it habitually does, to business and my role as an advisor to CEOs and companies during times of change and transition. I often interact with senior executives teams during an Merger or Acquisition, at the beginning of a business turnaround, during times of strategy change and business transformation.
But where are the dreams? They have countless plans, strategies, projects with budgets to match, organisation charts and goals. But rarely do I find the pull and desire that a vivid and passionate dream about the future exerts.
When do we in business lose our dreams of a better future and settle for a strategic plan and objectives? What causes dreams inside a business to wither and die? What could leaders do to build and support a collective dream of a better future?
I often wonder if we in business are missing the power of a collective dream to help power our companies forward.
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. ~T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia)
Want to know if your company is propelled by a dream of the future? Look in their eyes.
John R. Childress
Senior Executive Advisor on Leadership, Culture and Strategy Execution Issues,
Business Author and Advisor to CEOs
Visiting Professor, IE Business School, Madrid
Just published: LEVERAGE: The CEO’s Guide to Corporate Culture
PS: John also writes thriller novels