How To Propel An Idea From Creation To Action

November 9, 2013 — 9 Comments
How To Propel An Idea From Creation To Action | Joseph Lalonde

The year was 1519 when Hernán Cortez set sail for the New World. His strategic objective was the conquest of Mexico. The Aztec were a great nation with vast stores of gold and silver, an incalculable prize for King Charles I of Spain. Though I do not agree with what he had set out to do (not all strategic objectives are noble), I do, marvel at how such a small army could defeat a vast empire that had endured for 600 years. The key ingredient for their success would go down in history as one of the greatest Momentum tactics ever applied.

When taking the step from idea to execution, we can all learn something from the Spanish conquistador. After sailing halfway around the world, Cortez landed his eleven ships on the beaches of the Mexican Yucatan and unloaded the 500 men and supplies. Cortez then gathered his men around him and delivered those fateful words that now echo in the annals of leadership history, “Burn the Ships!” From that point onward, there could be no retreat. The only option was success.

Ideas die from lack of faith, especially if the founders are the chief unbelievers. Burning the ships is synonymous with getting uncommonly serious about your objective. Relational movement in a consistent direction is what creates Momentum. Cortez knew that they could not generate break-through Momentum if his men were keeping one eye on their escape plan.

As you approach a point of no return, team members who have invested in the conquest usually begins to ask, “Where is the fallback position, where are the reserves, what are the contingency plans?” Put simply, they wonder, “What if this doesn’t work?”

I am indeed aware of the importance of risk management issues. I am also aware that many people have been engaged in a recurring cycle. A vision is born, the vision gets hard, and the vision dies. Then they try something else.

Most of us will try several things before we commit ourselves to a lifelong focused pursuit. However, the problem is often that many have never sufficiently invested themselves in order to create the kind of Momentum needed to be successful. They have adopted a tolerance or threshold for opposition and difficulty that is too low. They say to themselves, I will to do this, if it is not harder than that.

I have bad news for you — there is no creative idea, process, or system so ingenious that it will work by itself. I co founded and help to lead an association of independent inventors, and am fully aware of how rapidly new innovations are emerging. However, the reason an originator of an idea rarely becomes rich is because they are unable to incorporate or monetize their ideas. Rarely does the idea alone have the Momentum to become successful. As the old saying goes: “Nothing works; people do.” (Click here to tweet)

The surest way to kill your dream is to not be “sold out’’ to its successful completion. That has been the cause of innumerable failed projects, including my own. On the other hand, it is this abandoned pursuit of the success at all costs that makes your vision contagious. Like Cortez, when it comes to entrepreneurs and inventors, there is a fine line between being considered insane and being celebrated as a genius.

You may not think of yourself as inventor. However, everyone who has high goals for themselves is in the process of creating a preferred future. If you do not have authentic conviction behind your ideas and ideals, you simply will not be able to create (or much less) sustain Relationship Momentum. You must have a relentless resolve to see that preferred future become a reality.

Question:  What is your dream and how are you sold out in your pursuit of the dream? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Brian Church is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of a Consulting Firm called Ambassadors International. Brian’s book, “Relationship Momentum” is about the secret to making ideas and initiatives move.

Brian lives with his wife Kimberly and son in Nashville, TN. His mission is to help Entre and Intrapreneurs activate their ideas by creating movement in a consistent direction.

I’m always looking for guest posters. If you would like to guest post, you can find the guidelines at An Invitation To Guest Post.

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  • Elizabeth Darcy Jones

    Very timely (as always). Holding back from pressing a green light on a project – although more for the ‘risk of success’ fear than the ‘risk of failure’! Thanks, and Brian’s book is now on my wishlist for Christmas.

    • Joe Lalonde

      I hope you enjoy Brian’s new book. It sounds great. And go push the button and green light your project. The world needs it!

      • Elizabeth Darcy Jones

        Thanks so much Joe, green lit and on to it now!

        • Joe Lalonde

          Sweet! I know there will be success as you greenlight the project.

  • Tim Turnquist

    This is very cool stuff. Starting a new era in my organization, this is exactly what I needed to hear/read/understand. While burning the ships might be a little excessive for this situation, it does inspire me to read more. Wondering if it is OK to repost a portion of this with a link back to this page on our webpage? Either way, thanks for the good work.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Awesome Tim! I’d be honored if you used a portion of this post along with a link back. Maybe 100 or so words. Glad you found it inspiring and it’s given you the desire to read more. What would be the next book you’d like to read?

      • Tim Turnquist

        Let me know if this is OK Also, I wasn’t sure whether to credit you or Brian Church, so I credited Brian and linked back to this page — so you both get some credit! If that is not accurate, I am happy to change it.

        As for next books, I am loving ‘Love Works’ by Joel Manby and will pick up a copy of Brian’s book ‘Relationship Momentum — but not sure where to go from there.

        I am in a unfamiliar ground as the new leader of an organization and have found your blog posts very encouraging and insightful — even though I may not be considered a “young” leader anymore. Keep up the good work.

        • Joe Lalonde

          That looks fine Tim. Thanks for wanting to share the post with your readers.

          Love Works is a fantastic read. I read that a couple of months back.

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