The Science of Vision Mastery: 5 Essential Moves in Your Business Playbook (Part I)

Hello Vision Masters!

I trust you were inspired by my call to arms in my last post.

If so, you may have been thinking “ok I’m ready to roll”, but just what is it that top Vision Masters do on a daily basis to produce success?” Hang on. We’ll cover the 5 Essential Moves in Your Business Playbook.


Last week I lauded the brilliance of two head football coaches, Sean McVay and Bill Belichick, whose teams just met in this year’s Super Bowl. Part of their brilliance lies in preparation. In fact, both are known as meticulous planners, tireless workers and innovative strategists. Yet if all they did was meticulously prepare themselves, without also presenting a game plan to their players, nobody would know what to do when the game started.

Players need a playbook to play the game. They need to master the playbook so that under stressful game conditions they know exactly what is expected of them on each play. Great coaches develop creative game plans, communicate those plans effectively to their teams, demand a high level of execution, then motivate each player to be all they can be during the game.

Vision Masters in business, science, philanthropy, sports and the arts need the same thing.

So, let’s start with the Vision Master’s Playbook. The playbook is grounded in the science of vision mastery as I’ve developed it over decades, through my own experience, that of highly successful business people I count as friends, colleagues, and mentors, as well as hundreds of entrepreneurs I’ve worked with. Learn it. Practice the fundamentals. Let it deepen your abilities as a successful Vision Master. We’ll lay out some fundamentals here. In succeeding weeks we will deepen your understanding around some of the most crucial plays.

As we begin, I have one request: bring a beginner’s mind to this. You’re all talented, successful, smart, creative and driven to succeed. We’ll concede all that as fact. Now we can set it all aside for the moment. My purpose in requesting to you bring a beginner’s mind to learning the science of vision mastery is so that you don’t make assumptions about the fundamentals, thinking “I already know this.” Maybe you do. But even if you feel as if you already know some of the “plays” I’m going to share with you, listen and absorb the material as if you didn’t, because I have my own spin on many of these things, borne from years of experience in working with Vision Masters at every level. So, thanks for bringing a beginner’s mind to the subject of vision mastery.

This is your Super Bowl. The stakes are high. Time is precious. You’re under attack from the forces of the status quo, as well as under the threat of future visionaries who will try to knock you off the throne once you’re entrenched as a success. It’s time to act. You’ve got to be agile, decisive, tough, inspiring to your team and trustworthy to your investors.

So, what do you do? Here are the 5 Moves in Playbook, think of them as shortcuts, drives down the middle:

Play #1: Model the most successful Vision Masters.

Study the biographies of proven Vision Masters (in business, this might be Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Sean McVay, Mark Zuckerberg, etc.) – Note that the authorized biographies are better than their speeches, interviews and their own writings, because even highly successful Vision Masters often don’t know themselves how they are doing it – but biographers seem to drag it out of them. Also, read about leadership, such as Extreme Ownership by former Navy Seal Jocko Willink.

Play #2: Get Mentored

Mentorship from someone who has already successfully embodied the Vision Master archetype is of immense value. They’ve taken the road before. They know its twists, turns, potholes, and detours. Their wisdom can buy precious time, deepen your confidence, sharpen your decision-making and increase your agility. As a counterbalance, become a mentor or coach, perhaps to someone on your core team. Cultivating the mind of a coach and practicing the art of listening will actually make you more coachable, too. So, you’ll get the most out of your mentorship time.

Play #3: Commit to Daily Practice

The playbook is only as good as your ability to run the plays within it to perfection. It was said that Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers had only 16 plays. When asked why he didn’t have more plays, as most teams did, Lombardi replied that he preferred fewer plays executed perfectly, rather than dozens of plays run with mediocrity. He won five championships in seven years. They practiced, practiced, practiced, again and again, and again, running the same 16 plays until perfection was achieved. Teams knew what was coming, but couldn’t stop that perfect execution. What would it be like to lead your team like that?

Play #4: Embrace Failure

Welcome failure as the best opportunity to learn. Always take full ownership of your failures, never blaming anyone else. Like any scientist, remember that everything you learn today will eventually be superseded, so be humble in the face of the vastness of knowledge. Constantly try new methods, and give your best to each of them. Make decisions frequently and fearlessly, committed to seeing them through. All of these practices add up to one thing: cultivate agility, practice it, embody it, master it.

Play #5: Have Fun

You’ll focus better, give more consistent energy, inspire others more often and be willing to go “all in” when you’re having fun. I don’t mean fun as in taking everything lightly, being happy-go-lucky or acting as though nothing much is at stake. I mean fun as in the enjoyment, sense of accomplishment and true fulfillment that comes with working very diligently towards a worthy goal that is larger than oneself.

The five plays I’ve given you are ways of being, as well as ways of doing.

The five plays I’ve given you are ways of being, let’s call them attitudes, as well as ways of doing, let’s call them practices. Attitudes and practices form the bedrock of the science of vision mastery. As you ground yourself in these attitudes and practices, you’ll see again and again that they encompass most, if not all, of the core aspects of your business life, including:

  • Clarifying and perfecting your personal mission (including aligning it with your personal values and your vision for the future of humanity)
  • Raising capital (in all forms) – including how to avoid losing control to investors, minimize perceived risk and maximize valuation – including how to create a viral buzz among investors to minimize the number of pitches needed and how to systematically get the essential trusted introductions to compatible investors
  • Public speaking (yes, this is essential)
  • One-on-one selling (enrolling people into your vision)
  • Hiring the best (smarter than you, not as easy as it seems)
  • Executive team selection and compensation (resolving the many dilemmas) with an emphasis on welcoming diversity of skills and points of view, avoiding excessive sharing of equity and excessive compensation
  • Corporate governance (avoiding the pitfalls that kill companies)
  • Team leadership (not the same as management) including the Mission-Impossible leadership method used by all successful Vision Masters
  • Delegation and trust (trust as a skill, not a feeling)
  • Goal setting (SMART goals)
  • Being the savant in one small area of expertise (even if you don’t have a photographic memory; Steve Jobs didn’t have a photographic memory)
  • Company launch strategy – Proven methods for launching a company that almost always work
  • Company scaling strategy – Proven methods that almost always work to scale a company
  • Overcoming your fears of every kind, especially the fear of criticism
  • Maintaining and raising your personal health level (maintaining your energy level)
  • Maintaining and raising your personal standards

As you can see, the science of Vision Mastery encompasses business strategies, but it’s mostly about cultivating in you the personal qualities to create and lead your team. You can delegate almost everything except vision leadership itself.   In future posts, we will take a deeper dive into some of these actions and qualities, with the goal of helping you first learn, then embody effective Vision Mastery.

Key Takeaways:

  • Like coaches and athletes, Vision Masters in business need a playbook to help them take on the forces of the status quo as well as the future visionary leaders out to defeat them at their own game
  • Great Vision Masters develop, learn and master their playbook, running their plays again and again
  • The science of Vision Mastery encompasses both attitudes (ways of being) and practices (ways of doing)
  • Approach this subject with a beginner’s mind even if you’re an experienced and successful leader, because even familiar terms have unique meanings within the context of the science of Vision Mastery
  • Mastering the science of Vision Mastery will strengthen your ability to create a winning team, motivate it to achieve amazing results, inspire confidence among your stakeholders — including investors and develop in you the character of a true leader