Dear leaders, in letter 3 future seers I discuss embracing those who can see the future and have the rare ability to understand where the future is going.
In many recent conversations and hosting coaching sessions, I have been asked about professionals who have ‘vision’ and those who don’t.
There is not an exact formula for those with vision and those without, however, I have listed out the skills and abilities I have experienced with those with vision and those lacking vision.
Subject matter knowledge, not expertise
Most colleagues and leaders with vision have subject matter knowledge, they understand the vertical or matter but do not have to be experts and often this is what helps them not be constrained or have bias through too much experience or expertise.
Understand how the market operates
Many understand how the business of their market works and how their rivals make money. You don’t have to know down to the processing fees or salary breakdown but understanding the economics of the market and the factors involved helps to shape some thoughts and build a plan.
For me, this is what separates those with vision and those looking to shape the near future. Product is hard, understanding product nuisances and where the products within your market are going is a trait that very few have and can envision. The real vision here is to know the products are likely to be shaped in a way that you can lead or you can follow.
Many understand what is a trend and what is going to be a (longer) theme. This who chase trends very often highlight they do not see long term.
Understand the gaps
Gaps are generally opportunities or weaknesses to exploit, understanding gaps within the market and then what are routes to build a wedge becomes essential.
Gaps ➡️ Wedges
Following on from gaps, those with vision know how to build a wedge within a competitor’s gap and build out to create a large opportunity and start to make or take market share.
Storytell with words or imagery
It’s not just the way to have a vision, the best at vision are those who can sell with words or by imagery, by painting a picture of the future others can then see the same or similar picture and want to join
Ability to envision the future
This is a rare ability to not only see a future state but a way to envision it and the steps you need to take not just a big idea from an aha moment.
Knowing a timeline and time matters
Those with vision know that timing matters and know how important a timeline is to create and deliver on the vision
Chance and Change
Understand there is a chance to build something. Or a chance to make a change or change something to make a bigger impact. Often starting small to take a chance to make that change.
Risk & Reward
Those with vision are not blinded that there will be an associate risk to the upside and the reward of this bigger vision.
More isn’t vision
The smartest people with vision know that more is not the answer, it’s unlikely just to sell more, just to build more or to just rely on optimisation.
How do you stack up? How do your colleagues stack up? Does the founder or CEO of your business show these elements to prove they have vision? I hope so.
This week consider how you can develop some of these skills and share your vision.
Essential Follow Up Materials
The Strategy Cheatsheet
The Difference Between Mission, Vision, Strategy & Tactics
Your Business Moat Is Infected
Stripe’s Inspiring Vision (Aka The Stripe 2021 Letter)
Can You Confidently Say What 2027 Looks Like?
What Is TikTok Competitive Advantage? Executing Its Vision
What is the metaverse?