Author of "This Is Rage" and "Endless Encores"

Posts made in November, 2014

Dreaming and Doing

By on Nov 24, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Some people focus on dreaming. Some focus on doing. The ones who find a way to bridge the gap make change happen. Every once in a while, as Steve Jobs would say, they put a dent in the universe. Many people elicit feedback. A few of them take something away from that feedback and apply it to what they are dreaming and doing. Yet too many solicit the feedback and then bat it away, a check mark on their roadmap to convince themselves they are not building in isolation. They have no interest in taking their vision to another level if it means wandering a bit from a too rigidly determined path. The combination of dreaming and doing creates the flint and steel of innovation. Without both the status quo rules. The combination of listening and interpreting is what hones an idea and an action plan, shaping and molding it into a viable product. Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” For decades I’ve been trying to decipher what he really meant by this. What I do know is that this calling is aspirational. It is incredibly difficult to meet this challenge. Walt defines a promise, then delivers the promise. This has taught me that when I make a promise to customers, I must be fully committed to delivering on that promise. If I allow a gap to remain between dreaming and doing, the dream becomes cynical. Failure is okay if it’s part of the path of learning, but a cynical promise is never okay. That’s when words become hollow, and customers abandon a brand. Recently on a cross-country flight I saw the movie Jobs.  I don’t know if it’s a great movie, but it did remind me clearly of Steve’s near maniacal obsession with perfection, with making excellence a reality, with getting everything right. That’s a standard that will surely break the mediocre and inspire those who want to be inspired. He was a dreamer, he was a doer. In his own weird way, he was also a listener. You had to listen closely to hear where he was hearing, but Steve was always listening. Walt Disney was always listening as well. He would sit in the center courtyard at Disneyland...

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