When I was in Berlin and recorded a video partially about the Berlin wall it was impossible not to be reminded of John F. Kennedy’s famous words: “Ich bin ein Berliner”. He spoke those words in 1961 in front of an enthusiastic crowd in West Berlin that dreamt of having the recently erected wall torn down. A big dream indeed and it should take no less than 28 years before it happened.
Kennedy, as you know, had another big dream – this one on behalf of his nation: The dream of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. What was so special about this dream was how bold it was. In the words of Kennedy:
“We choose to go to the moon in this decade not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”
Do you think America would have succeeded in landing a man on the moon and gained all the additional advantages in the shape of new knowledge, technology and materials if Kennedy hadn’t allowed himself to dream big? No way! Was it worth their while? Absolutely! Many have seen it as the foundation for winning the cold war against the Soviet Union – and therefore the demolition of the Berlin wall.
What is your company’s dream? Maybe you don’t know, but your company needs to dream, and not just that: Dream big! Or in the words of the famous Italian painter, sculptor, architect and poet Michelangelo:
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
Without big dreams you end up in mediocrity – as opposed to Michelangelo. Or even worse – you end up being weaker than now. Just imagine what happens if you go to the gym but only lift weights that don’t really require any effort. Your muscles will weaken and so will you.
What a shame that many companies don’t set higher goals as the result of this is that they slowly and inevitably weaken themselves. So go ahead and dream big!