Last week I finished reading Ten Steps Ahead by Erik Calonius. Erik has been a writer with the Wall Street Journal and Fortune. Through those experiences, he’s had the opportunity to interview some of the greatest business visionaries. In this book, Erik pulls on recent neuroscience discoveries and behavioral research to identify what distinguishes great visionaries from the rest of us.
I actually had the opportunity to interview Erik as well. I’ll share that interview later this week. In the mean time, here are the top ten highlights from my reading:
- “When we are actively looking for what we expect, we become blind to what is right before our eyes.”
- “Visionaries don’t succeed by lying in bed with their dreams floating idly above their heads. They get out into the world and experience things, and from that, shape their ideas.”
- “People frequently make better decisions with less information.”
- “Visionaries almost always work at the edge of our understanding, where information is scarce or nonexistent and where intuitive decisions are often the only choice.”
- “For an idea to really be radical, it has to be in some way ridiculous.”
- “Courage and commitment separate the visionary from the dreamer.”
- “It seems that we all can read people pretty well. But visionaries either have that skill better honed or merely trust in it more than the rest of us.”
- “A paradigm is often preceded by a crisis of confidence in the old idea.”
- “New information is not likely to bring badly polarized groups together, but is merely fuel for their fire of dissension.”
- “Visionaries never hobble themselves with preconceived notions. They’d prefer not to know precisely where they’ll wind up next.”
Are people born visionaries or are these skills we can learn over time? This book may challenge some of your preconceived notions…which may actually indicate you’re not a visionary. :-)
Here’s my Amazon link if you’d like to get your hand on Ten Steps Ahead and learn more about what separates successful business visionaries from the rest of us.