Just spent the morning at a business and community meeting to discuss what needs to happen in our city of 500,000. The meeting structure allowed people to have their say.
98% of the conversation was on the immediate now. Policing, transport, jobs. Yes these issues are important.
But there was no discussion on long term vision. (Until I stood up.)
Our culture and society is addicted to short-termism. The quarterly reporting cycle, the 3 or 4 year election cycle. We have been trained to think NOW.
Where are the Cathedral equivalents of past….buildings that took 500 years to make, and are still standing 1000 years later? Where are the leaders who say I want to build one of those?
The Visionary Pioneer Entrepreneur is something of a mutant in our NOW society. It can be a very lonely place if this is your natural default.
You can see far into the future, your vision is vast. Most people simply do not have the capacity to see what you see. And this can be incredibly frustrating and decidedly lonely. We suffer from being misunderstood or not understood at all. We need to learn to translate our sight into something smaller and more accessible. (Or have someone else do the translation.) If we do not then we will be ineffective in enabling our vision to gain traction.
Some of our very best visionary pioneer’s addressed this by writing science fiction. Through story and metaphor they were able to take people along with them on the journey. Michael Crichton was a master at taking extremely pressing NOW issues and playing them out through story, enabling us the access the long term consequences of the NOW actions.
And then we need patience. People cannot be until they are and nature has its own gestation rate. If your vision is large enough, and compelling enough, it will carry you until people can finally see and join the party. Think Amazon. Or Spotify.
You will always be out there riding the first wave. Charting the course. Finding the rocks. Being misunderstood. It is therefore necessary that we find ways to bring people along with us.