The past few weeks have been filled with business plans. One of the goals is to capture a vision of what an idea could look like. As I contribute, edit, and review, I find myself looking at those that have come before me. It is helpful to read other plans. When one is written well, brief, concise, and complete, I find myself filled with renewed energy. I am reminded that the impossible never need remain that way. The living testimony of what can happen is a powerful incentive.
Behind every plan and successful business are individuals and communities. When I see that “a certain silversmith, Demetrius, conducted a brisk trade in the manufacture of shrines to the goddess Artemis, employing a number of artisans in his business” (Acts 19.24), I know there was a vision in play. When I listen to a leader speak, great ones always talk of the team of what they have done. Even when it is a singular idea that provides a gateway, it is the combined work of many that brings the vision into focus and reality.
Not every business idea is a good one. Many great ideas do not stand the test of time. Even sustainable ideas fail because of forces outside of anyone’s control. Yet, there is a formula that I find across every company that does well.
First, a group of individuals believe. Their motives may vary, but they share a common belief in something or someone.
Second, there is a vision. Belief is never about what is, it is always about what can be.
Third, there is a willingness to contribute in making a difference. Visions are not born in a day. They take time to mature. Often they grow and change along the way.
While styles vary, leaders I admire share a common trait. They invite others to join them. It is never forced or contrived. They know that success will require sustained focus. Being focused is a choice. It is our ultimate freedom. We decide where we will focus. Our answer determines everything that follows.