Vision Masters: Be Prepared to Disrupt and to be Disrupted – A Call to Action

Vision Masters . . . to arms!

You’ve got to master the science of Vision Mastery or fail.  Read on if you are a CEO, Founder, Partner.

This week’s blog applies the lessons of Super Bowl 2019 to this challenge.  Read on and you’ll get just how big the challenge you face really is:

I’ve written much in this space about Vision Masters: who they are, what they do, what makes them distinct from other business executives. I wonder, though, whether you, the reader, may sometimes think “visionary” when I write about Vision Masters. Vision Masters certainly have vision — they see a possible future — but what distinguishes them from mere visionaries is the will to bring these visions to the world in concrete ways within their lifetimes.  Is that you?

Visionaries describe potential futures. Vision Masters do what it takes to ground them in reality. In the rough and tumble world of business, this often involves repeated competitive, even combative, action. Vision Masters are Superheroes, fending off enemies at every turn, gathering the repeated will power, drive, ambitious and dedication to their cause necessary to defeat the forces of the status quo. But that’s not all.

For once the Vision Master has seemingly defeated all the forces of the status quo, entrenched his or her company as a major disruptor and established a solid market position, new Vision Masters will arise with competitive ideas, along with the same drive and ambition to make them real as you have. The battles will continue, again and again.  Get ready.

H.G. Wells is often called the Father of Science Fiction. A prolific writer, Wells published dozens of books over a lengthy literary career. Wells was a true visionary, focusing much of his work on a progressive vision for humanity’s future. In his many utopian works Wells foresaw the advent of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television, and a world connect through computers (e.g., the World Wide Web). His science fiction imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and biological engineering.  He was a visionary.

But Wells was not a Vision Master.  He didn’t focus on any one of these futuristic technologies, build a team around it, create a business around it, bring a product to market, successfully market and sell it, reap profits for investors and change the world in a concrete way. That’s not to say his ideas didn’t have immense value. But he did not carry those ideas into battle, directly challenging the forces of the status quo, then continuing the battle against new disruptive Vision Masters.  Wells, unlike you, was NOT a Vision Master.

Vision Masters make the future.

Vision Masters make the future, perhaps even force that future into being, by constantly challenging the forces of the status quo. They then defend their version of that new reality against new disruptors.

Hopefully, this clarifies the important distinction between visionaries and Vision Masters.  But if you think you can rest knowing you’re a Vision Master, think again.  Now I’ll apply the lessons of the Super Bowl to the challenge you face:

This week is Super Bowl week. Millions of people around the world will tune in on Sunday afternoon to see whether the upstart Los Angeles Rams can defeat the odds on favorite and five-time Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots. It is a classic battle between a Vision Master, the Rams 33-year-old coach Sean McVay against the dark force of the status quo represented by the Patriots’ Bill Belichick, aged 66  with 19 years experience as a head coach. Each is leading a team headed by star quarterbacks — their Execution Masters — the Rams’ upstart Jared Goff, aged 24 versus the Patriots’ wily veteran Tom Brady, aged 41, who has played in nine Super Bowls, winning five of them. Each coach has learned to trust and rely upon their respective Execution Masters when the stakes were high, something I’ve constantly encouraged all Vision Masters to learn to do.

Both coaches are Vision Masters at different stages. Belichick defeated the status quo of his era, developing innovative schemes, then masterfully coaching his players to execute them consistently. He is known for developing plans week after week to successfully shut down the opposition’s greatest strength while capitalizing on their biggest weakness. He is now the status quo — still an innovator, but at the height of power and dominance in his profession. McVay is the up-and-comer, young, relatively inexperienced, but uniquely capable of motivating his players to achieve the impossible while holding them to a level of accountability most professional athletes resist. Both rely on the wisdom and experience of a bevy of assistant coaches, strategists, research, film, data, scouts — something you, the Vision Master of your own company must also learn to do as I’ve written about.

An offensive genius, McVay is now preparing a game-plan to defeat the Patriots at their own game. Belichick is preparing plans to expose the Rams’ primary weaknesses and mute the impact of their primary strengths. The teams will play the game, but these two Vision Masters will run the show. What can YOU learn from this unique Super Bowl matchup?

Vision Masters recognize that their enemies are those who are entrenched in the status quo,

Vision Masters recognize that their enemies are those who are entrenched in the status quo, and whose careers, money, position or power are threatened by disruption to their areas of influence, including those embedded in Big business, Big government, Big Philanthropy, Big Finance, and Big science.  Vision Masters must prepare in every way – learning the science of Vision Mastery – especially by building a team of Execution Specialists around them led by an Execution Master to take on these entrenched interests. (For more on this, download my eBook Born to Star.) Is that all?

Here’s the big learning from this week’s Super Bowl:  Not only do Vision Masters like you have to prepare to take on the entrenched special interests of the status quo, but they and you also have to prepare to take on the NEXT wave of Vision Masters coming up from below.  This is a different type of preparation, preparation for the pivot on top of the pivot.  I’ve spoken much about the agility required in previous blogs and more will be coming.

This preparation is what will impress today’s jaded investors.

Vision Masters — your quest to master the science of Vision Mastery is forever. You must never ever ever ever ever ever rest on your laurels or you’ll become a dinosaur like General Electric and increasingly the once-heroic Apple, Inc. which is falling behind in every area of innovation.  At today’s pace of change, you can turn into a dinosaur in a year’s time.  Refer to my recent post about predictions for 2019.

In summary, Vision Master, prepare to disrupt and to be disrupted with the science of Vision Mastery.  Let’s roll.

Key Takeaways:

Are you a visionary or a Vision Master?

Vision Masters do everything possible to make their visions real. 

Vision Masters prepare to take on the entrenched status quo.

Vision Masters must also prepare to take on new waves of Vision Masters coming after them.

The science of Vision Mastery prepares you for both battles ahead.

Remember, this preparation will impress today’s jaded investors.