Leading Ideas: Listen to the Whisper

"None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone." — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American author, minister, & activist

When I do mission & vision work with clients, the first thing I have them do is present their current mission & vision. Most of what I hear could put you to sleep. It's formulaic. It's lifeless. And the delivery is uninspired. I then ask them them to dig a little deeper. "What's the mission that's whispering to you? - that's begging you to follow it - that might sound silly or unreasonable, but that gets you fired up as you think about pursuing it." The answers to these questions are often much different. They're electric in comparison. They're raw, but they're real. And as a result they have the ability to inspire and move people.

Consider This:

Mediocrity is easy - follow the masses. Excellence, however, is not - that's a path you've got to carve on your own. Your guide is often no more than a faint whisper inside of you. To pursue it takes courage. And to succeed takes imagination and hard work. However, the payoff is big if you stick to it. You will have built something from nothing. And you will have forged your character and legacy in the process.

Try This

1. What whisper do you hear?
2. Put it on paper - I recommend doing this even if you think you know it already - it forces you to articulate it more clearly.
3. Recognize that this is your sweet spot - the place where you'll find more creativity and success than anywhere else.
4. When the time is right, follow it. Slowly at first if you have to.
5. Revisit this whisper at least once a year as it can change and grow as you begin to listen to it.

Question: How have you woven your whisper into your life?

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  • Stefan Engeseth


    1. Hire people who have different talents than you.
    2. Install a random control in the elevator so that everyone ends up on the wrong floor. Get a head start by pressing the wrong button today.
    3. Exchange Filofaxes with each other.
    4. Bring your children to work.
    5. Invite your customers to participate in projects at an early stage.
    6. Invite someone from the street to attend your next meeting.
    7. Mix people in meetings: for example sales people and marketing people.
    8. Change the setting of the meeting. Why not hold your next meeting at a kindergarten?
    9. Create imbalance. Stand on one leg during a meeting and seek imbalance. Seek imbalance in the marketplace.
    10. Use simple language. A good idea thrives on simplicity.
    11. Always go the extra mile and do a little more than what’s on the list.

    Source www.DetectiveMarketing.com

  • mahendrakumardash

    I do believe that thinking and then acting upon the thought brings in improvement in one.

  • mahendrakumardash

    Listening to one's innerself,thinking and then thoughtfully acting upon will definitely bring in
    betterment and improvement.

  • Scott Ingram

    I certainly agree that most mission statements are beyond boring, and generally way too long.

    Our mission is: "To help our members become wildly successful in business and in life."

    Short, simple and hopefully you've not dozed off.

    Happy networking!

  • Fill

    How linked is this to meditation, intuition and being your own man? and if that seems to obvious then how does one know its their own wisper? im sure societies pressure to conform is strong enough to intrude even there...

  • Peter Suh

    Whisper concept has been around for thousands, thousands of years...

    From the Nichiren Zen Sect.

    "A special transmission outside the Scriptures;
    No dependence upon words and letters;
    Direct pointing to the soul of man;
    Seeing into one's nature and the attainment of Buddhahood."

  • Jason Bates

    listening to the whisper is a skill... learning to notice what works for you, and what has worked for you in the past.

    ..and once you've heard the whisper, it's time to foster the skill of weaving the whisper into your life.

    It's one thing to be creative and intuitive on what you want to do... but don't forget that weaving and splicing your whisper into reality can take many forms.

    There is an infinite number of paths between two points A and B, and so when you know where the whisper will take you, when you've written it down, be open to changing the route.. be open to seeing the opportunities. You'll get there, but probably not the way you planned ;o)