Few People Can Follow You Into Space
Few people can follow you into space. You may not think this is a problem for you personally but I beg you to reconsider. Leaders with big dreams do go into space and unintentionally leave others behind. The question is not weather or not you should dream big, but rather, how you help people dream big with you. Consider this picture by Joseba Elorzas. It is an interesting juxtaposition of a 1940's bleacher and spacewalking astronaut. The astounded onlookers rise from their seats to behold a vision from the future. The audience has gathered to witness an exhibition of space flight and a view of the world that they have never seen. The orbiting scientist looks across to the bewildered past and challenges their understanding of science and the conventions of mankind. The astronaut is alone in the vastness of space while everyone else is crammed tight, thinking in black and white, simply looking forward in time. This is a compelling picture of a situation leadership challenge: leading too far out in front of others.
Is it possible lead beyond the ability of others to follow?
Do you identify with anyone in this picture? Have you found yourself in awe of the future, feeling tightly packed in a black and white present? Or do you remember a time when you were the astronaut: years ahead of others, wishing they could join you but realizing that the gap was too great for anyone to overcome?
Few people from the early 20th century could imagine space flight. It was a fiction of science and beyond the confines of practical thinking. Few people today can imagine a future different from their own present. Changes in ideas and behaviors seem like a fiction of society and beyond the scope of potential reality. It is important for us to explore outer space, to strive for an ambitious goals. But sometimes we venture too far away from our audience and risk alienating our ideas or dreams. We show them a space walk when they need to see a rocket. Those who advocate for audacious goals don't often convey the importance of a progression of modest goals. Things rarely ever leap into the future. They do, however, deliberately progress forward one small step at a time.
Share your vision for great things but also share your vision of progression. Onlookers do not help you reach your goals. Create entry points for other people to get on board with your dream. Make it easy for them to contribute to the success of your goal by making their contribution matter. A baby step for you may be a giant leap for them. Give people the means and time to join you and create a way for them to follow you into space.