Vision: defined as the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.
Goals: defined as the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
Conviction: defined as a firmly held belief or opinion. Better rephrased as a question – “how bad do you really want it?”
Over the last 30 plus years I have seen the embodiment of these three elements act as the driving force behind seemingly ordinary individuals achieve extraordinary goals, as their conviction has held firm to achieve the vision they knew was possible. From farmers, to businessmen, to soldiers and politicians – individuals who have achieved greatly or transformed their industries or fields of professional endeavour.
But more often than not these individuals have not achieved these results independently and alone; they have been supported, aided and abetted along the way by a range of people who bring different skill sets to achieving the desired end state, or goal.
Vision provides the intent for the goal to be achieved, but while many can see or envision it, they may not have the passion underpinning the conviction to achieve it. However, conviction alone to achieve a goal is nothing on its own, if the goal or vision is poorly defined. True leaders have the uncanny knack to combine vision and conviction with professional teams to realise lofty goals.
If you look to the business world figures such as Richard Branson, Alan Sugar, Kerry Packer, Mark Bouris, Andrew Carnegie, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are visionaries that come to mind. In finance circles J.P.Morgan, T. Boone Pickens, Nicholas Moore, Gail Kelly and Jim Goetz are more than notable. And in terms of investors Benjamin Graham, Michael Burry, Ken Griffin, and David Shaw are key figures, notwithstanding the well-known duo of Warren Buffett & Charlie Monger of Berkshire Hathaway fame!
So what then are some guiding principles that can be applied by those seeking to achieve outcomes that others say just aren’t possible? Here are six to get you started:
Confidence Breeds Confidence: You must believe in the vision and convey the conviction you have to others in order to realise your goal. This means having the elevator pitch aligned to a short, sharp, succinct statement that delivered with passion leaves no-one wondering what it is you are setting out to do.
Be the Captain of your Destiny: In short, own your vision, your goals and don’t let others sway your conviction. When you do start to gain traction, and others want to ‘buy in’ to your good idea or venture, remember that you are the primary reason for your vision becoming reality and that your leadership is required now more than ever.
Choose your Team Wisely: As alluded to earlier, even great leaders and visionaries need great teams to help achieve their goals. But choose wisely; find people who not only fill niche skills gaps, but also have the same outlook and passion for what it is you are trying to achieve. After all, you can’t win an A-Grade football match with a D-Grade team.
Embrace Technology: Industries are being disrupted at a rate greater than ever before thanks to technology, but you can either fight it, or embrace it. Better to be the visionary looking to where and how things will be positioned in years to come, and then leveraging off technology to achieve goals in the future at a faster pace. Remember, kids at school today are already starting to solve the problems of tomorrow that we don’t know we have.
Never Be Afraid: I watched enthralled when Felix Baumgartner set a new world free fall record. In trying to comprehend the enormity of the task he was undertaking, it became more and more clear that his conviction to achieve the impossible was enabled by a highly specialised team of passionate individuals, working collectively to achieve an inspirational goal. He epitomised that you should never be afraid when you have done your homework, you have conviction in the vision, and you are fully enabled by a team of professionals.
Want it More: There can be no greater enabler than the raw drive and conviction to want success more than your competitors. Much like a boxer in an even matched fight over ten rounds, victory comes to the one who wants it more, who can stay the course and endure when all seems lost. This is what high conviction looks like when fully embodied.
All of the above principles can be summarised in the excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic" delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910. Known more colloquially as “The Man In The Arena”…
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Get in Touch: If you have any questions on the above article, or would like to book an obligation free appointment to discuss your business, financial or investment goals in more detail, please email me at email@example.com or phone (07) 4760 5900.
About the Author: Colin Lea has a prior professional background of 21 years in military & international logistics, strategic planning and management, including operational deployments overseas and an international exchange with the US Military. He is a Financial Adviser CFP® Professional and Partner at the Carey Group, and holds Financial Adviser CFP® Professional membership with the Financial Planning Association of Australia.