Controversial headline aside, to be a truly visionary leader, you have to be ignorant to all of the “facts” surrounding you.
I’m not suggesting you ignore important warnings and red flags in compromised situations. But you have to be as bullheaded and stubborn as healthily possible.
There’s going to be plenty of people who are going to remind you that “reality” dictates that your vision is impossible.
Everything you see around you was cooked up in the imagination of some ignorant bastard who wasn’t “realistic” enough to let facts dictate their ambitions.
When you really think about it, many of the things you see around you now seem as if they shouldn’t exist at all. For example, your mobile phone. What the hell is it? It’s more than capable of making phone calls. You can shoot whole movies on it, create podcasts and write whole articles. Decades ago this spectrum of media creation on a single device would have been called black magic. And it still is.
When I think about what is possible and what’s not possible, I recall a passage that stood out to me in “Think And Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill:
“When Ford decided to produce his now famous V-8 motor, he chose to build an engine with the entire eight cylinders cast in one block, and instructed his engineers to produce a design for the engine. The design was placed on paper, but the engineers believed it was simply impossible to cast an eight-cylinder gas engine block in one piece.
Ford said, ‘Produce it anyway.’
‘But,’ they replied, ‘it’s impossible!’
‘Go ahead,’ Ford commanded, ‘and stay on the job until you succeed, no matter how much time is required.’
The engineers went ahead. There was no other option if they were to remain on the Ford staff. Six months went by and nothing happened. Another six months passed, and still nothing happened. The engineers tried every conceivable plan to carry out the orders, but the thing seemed out of the question; ‘Impossible!’
At the end of the year Ford checked with his engineers, and again they informed him they had found no way to carry out his orders.
‘Go right ahead,’ said Ford, ‘I want it, and I’ll have it.’
They went ahead, and then, as if by a stroke of magic, the secret was discovered. The Ford determination had won once more!”
What if Ford just went along with what the engineers said? History as we know it might be different.
Take a page out of Henry Ford’s and many of the great inventors books and be ignorant to the “facts.”
You just might make history.