Written by Karen D. Swim
Ron entered the building right on time for his appointment with Neal. The office was modern with a coolly detached vibe. After giving his name to the receptionist, he was directed down a long hallway to a spacious hallway with a large oak desk. After exchanging pleasantries, Neal and Ron got down to business.
Neal, told Ron that their company had moved to the state and would be renovating 60 homes per month. Ron liked Neal and the process he laid out. An hour later, Ron walked out with the specs on the first job, which he would start in two days. The economy had been challenging and Ron was afraid he would have to lay off a few of his guys. This contract could not have come at a better time.
Over the next few weeks the jobs came in starts and stops, not the steady flow of work Neal promised. Ron could not keep his crew on hold for days at a time so he opted to take other jobs. He went in to pick up his check for the last job with every intention to speak to Neal. He ran into the Project Manager, Andy in the parking lot. Andy shared that he was leaving the company and opened up to Ron about the promises that were never kept. It was then that Ron learned that Neal had presented a vision of where he wanted to the company to go and not the reality of where the company was today.
Like many business writers, I am often invited to take on jobs for companies promising lots of steady work. Inevitably, the company wants to leverage that promise for a lower rate.
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch
There is a great deal of focus these days on having a big vision. We are told to put our faith in action by changing our mindset and language. I completely agree that we must fix our minds on what we want and rid ourselves of self-limiting beliefs BUT we must be careful when we recruit others to our vision.
When hiring employees or contractors, it is important to present the reality and allow each person to make their own choice. To present the vision without the reality is a lie. Contractors plan their accounts receivable based on billable hours, just as employees plan their budgets based on income. It is unfair to ask someone to set aside billable time when you cannot deliver on your promise.
“I think there is something, more important than believing: Action! The world is full of dreamers, there aren’t enough who will move ahead and begin to take concrete steps to actualize their vision.”– W. Clement Stone
Many will believe in your vision and will be willing to take the risk with you. However, do not be offended by those who are unwilling to take the risk. Respect the right of everyone to make his or her own choice.
Have you ever unintentionally misrepresented your business? Were there repercussions? Have you ever signed on for a vision that did not match reality? How did it make you feel?