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Vol. 2 issue #183 Feb 23, 2006                    


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Business Success Without the Blindfold
2005 by Kalinda Rose Stevenson

"Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the
vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive
it to completion."

Jack Welch

Vision is the first critical element in business success.
Vision gives a clear picture of what you intend your
business to accomplish. Without vision, you simply don't
know where you're going. Hard work and perseverance
cannot replace a clear vision.

It is something like the experience I had at a wilderness
camp in the Canadian Rockies. About twenty of us were
blindfolded and led to a maze in the woods. The maze was
laid out with ropes strung together, from tree to tree.
The terrain was uneven, with bumps and hollows in the
ground. The ropes ranged from a foot to three or four feet
off the ground. Our objective was to ring a bell somewhere
in the course.

I know that I retraced my steps more than once, coming to a
place where the ropes met at a forty-five degree angle, or
where a rope ended at a tree. I knew I had come to that
same corner before, touched that same tree before. Then I
would turn around and go back, trying to find my way
without being able to see. Throughout the course, I met
others, our hands touching on the ropes as we groped in
darkness along the rope maze. 

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Meanwhile, I could hear the bell ring at least three times.
That meant at least three of the participants managed to
find their way. One time the bell rang, I knew I was
close. I could tell the direction of the sound, but
somehow, I got off track again. I didn't find the bell.
Most of us didn't.

I did persevere. I didn't give up, even as began to feel
frustrated that I couldn't get out of the maze. I kept
trying to find my way, back and forth and up and down along
the ropes, but I couldn't find my way with my eyes covered.

After we took off our blindfolds, the bell was clear
enough. With the blindfolds, most of us couldn't find it.
All of our effort was wasted effort.

I'm not sure what lesson the wilderness camp leaders
intended us to gain from the experience on that day. But
as a metaphor for doing business, the experience is a
powerful object lesson of what happens when you set out to
accomplish something without being able to see where we
were going.

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We had no vision. We were supposed to find a bell
somewhere, without having a clear vision of where the bell
was. One of the participants who finally did ring the
bell said that he had missed the bell even when he had
found the right tree. He hadn't reached high enough up the
tree trunk to find the bell.

The whole process is something like going into business to
achieve "success." There is no clarity of vision in such
language. What does "success" look like? Will you know if
when you find it? Where is it? Without a vision, you can
work hard, struggle, come close without knowing it, and
never reach your objective.

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The word "business" is directly related to the word "busy."
Both mean "care," "anxiety," and "being occupied." This
is a good description of my experience of the rope maze. I
have no idea how long we were on the ropes course. It
seemed like an eternity. I know I was very busy,
continually moving, continually working, continually trying
to find my way, going over the same ground again and again
without ever reaching my objective. I was busy, but my
busy-ness was not effective.

Perseverance in the wrong direction is simply wasted
effort. Without a clear vision of where you are going, you
can get far off track, still working hard, and never
accomplish much of anything.

The trap of being doing business without a clear vision of
where you are going is that you simply become busy. Being
busy is no substitute for doing the real work of your


Kalinda Rose Stevenson, Ph.D.
Author of "No Money Limits For Real Estate Investors:
Discover The Money-Making Secret In The Monopoly Game That
Will Turn Your Money Struggles Into Money Abundance

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