Michelangelo once said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” This quote highlights the importance of combining vision and discipline. Without both, the angel in the marble remains trapped, and our potential goes unfulfilled.
As a professional consultant and executive coach I have a mission to help professionals, CEOs, and owners unlock personal and organizational success.
In this new article, I want to focus on the interplay between vision and discipline. A clear vision is essential, but without discipline, it remains just a dream: a block of marble represents potential but without action it remains simply that: unharnessed potential.
Discipline is what allows you to hone in on your vision and make it a reality. Without discipline, the block of marble remains uncarved, and our potential goes unfulfilled. However, discipline without vision is like aimlessly chiseling away at a block of marble, resulting in a wasted effort with no clear idea of what you want to create. Let’s explore some relevant examples:
- WeWork: The co-working giant had a grand vision of revolutionizing the way we work, but a lack of discipline and focus on core values led to a failed IPO and a leadership crisis.
- Nokia: The mobile phone giant had a clear vision of the future of mobile technology, but a lack of discipline in execution led to the company’s decline and eventual sale to Microsoft.
- Blockbuster: The video rental chain failed to adapt to the digital age, despite having a clear vision of the future of entertainment, leading to its eventual bankruptcy.
- Kodak: The photography giant failed to embrace digital photography, despite having invented the technology, due to a lack of discipline and foresight.
To achieve success, you need both vision and discipline, which work together to create purpose. But having a vision is not enough. You also need to develop communication skills and the ability to convey the vision in a clear, storytelling manner. This is crucial to aligning vision and discipline on all levels of an organization, from the board level to the frontlines and all employees.
Here are five practical tips to ensure that you have both vision and discipline, and that they are aligned:
- Define your vision and communicate it clearly to your team
- Break your vision down into actionable steps and establish a timeline
- Embrace change and adapt to new circumstances
- Stay focused and hold yourself and your team accountable
- Celebrate successes and learn from failures
In conclusion, combining vision and discipline is crucial for achieving success in both personal and organizational settings. Just like Michelangelo’s sculpture, purpose requires both vision and discipline. A clear vision is essential, but without discipline, it remains just a dream. Discipline is what allows you to hone in on your vision and make it a reality. Harness the power of both to unlock your full potential and carve a path to success.