How to Dream Big and Still Get Stuff Done

Would you hire a toaster to manage your department? I'm thinking of one of those old, very basic toasters... it does one thing: toast two slices of bread. Before you answer, let me point out that this toaster will execute brilliantly for 20 years to come. You'll have perfectly browned toast, year after year.


No? Why not?


Sure, the toaster isn't much of a conversationalist, and it's interpersonal skills are nil. But it is impeccable at execution.


Still no?


In all honesty, I'm not surprised. Even though it executes brilliantly, the toaster still just does one thing.


Now for a more troubling question: are you like the toaster?


Do you just do one thing? Do you only execute, but never use your imagination? Or do you always dream big, but never actually get anything done?


For many professionals, the answer is yes. I'm not just talking about failed professionals. Plenty of "successful" and capable professionals will never make it to the next level because - when you examine them closely - they only do one thing.


If you want to overcome obstacles, capture opportunities, and create growth, you need to master both innovation and execution. You must be able to dream big, and then get stuff done.


They are polar opposites. Innovation requires that you suspend reality and imagine reality as it could be, rather than as it is. Execution requires that you get incredibly specific and that you leave no room for uncertainty.


If you want to build 500,000 Honda Accords, you must create specs for every part in that car, manufacture the parts, ship them to your factory, set up the assembly line in a fixed order, and then make the cars.


But if you want to dream up the successor to the Honda Accord, you must start with a blank slate.


Don't fall into the trap of "being" a creative person or an action person. Be someone who can do both well, and who knows the right time to focus on the right mindset.

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Categories: Management

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Bruce Kasanoff

Bruce Kasanoff helps companies empower and inspire their employees. He brings relentlessly positive messages of personal empowerment, flexibility and clarity. ...

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