Most of his inventions were not simply an accidental discovery, but rather a planned process. One of his most famous quotes “Vision without execution is hallucination” indicates how much he valued not only idea generation, but implementation.
I recently received Phil Clemens “May Thought for the Month” and believe Phil’s words and Edison’s quote contain sage advice for all leaders.
With over 1,000 inventions, Thomas Edison was certainly a man who had a vision to make this world a much better place. Edison not only had vision – he executed.
Do you know the difference between a dream and a vision? A dream is something you could do; a vision is something you must do. When Edison had a vision – he didn’t dream about it – he did it! Sometimes, actually often – he failed and that’s ok. What he didn’t do is keep dreaming and never accomplish anything. Failure drives you to execute your vision in a different way – after all it is something you must do.
Today, many people dream and some even dream big. However, most dreamers never take the next step with their dreams. Edison would say they are hallucinating because they never converted the dream to a vision and executed it. What a waste of time, God given talent, and often other resources. “I could of done it” just doesn’t get it done – it’s hallucinating.
Great leaders know that just sitting around and dreaming doesn’t add one dime to the bottom line nor does it bring measurable results if it only remains a dream. However, having a vision (which takes about the same effort as a dream but comes from a very different mindset) drives you to execute on that vision. Again, it is something you must do.
Are you dreaming today – or are you executing a vision?