LeBron James took a huge risk when he decided to leave Miami and return to Cleveland in the summer of 2014. He didn’t promise to bring Northeast Ohio a championship, but he knew that would be the expectation. And if the Cavaliers failed to win a title, James understood that he would be held responsible for the team’s inability to get it done. That’s part of the deal when you’re the best basketball player in the world.
But James spent very little, if any time thinking about failure. Rather, he thought about what it would take to lead his team to victory and then set out to make it happen. He developed a plan and a mindset that would keep everyone focused on the task at hand, despite the distractions that would come up along the way to make the journey seem difficult at times, perhaps even impossible.
And on the night of June 19th, all the hard work, dedication and commitment paid off when the Cavaliers beat the Warriors and brought Cleveland its first championship since 1964, setting off a celebration that is still going strong. James dreamed the impossible dream and made it possible. He showed what can be accomplished when you believe in yourself and those around you.
What’s your impossible dream? Perhaps a better question is when was the last time you stepped away from the day-to-day challenges of running your business to allow yourself the opportunity to dream? It’s not easy to do when every phone call, every meeting and every decision seems so important to your future. But think about the message we’re sending when we stop dreaming. We’re telling the outside world that we don’t have time to think about the future or about new growth opportunities. We’re just going to focus on what we do and hopefully, that will be enough to keep the company going.
LeBron could have stayed in Miami and won more titles. But he had a dream of what it would be like to win in his hometown. He thought about what he could accomplish in the community and what it would mean for the region’s economy. He allowed himself to dream big.
As business leaders, we need to take time out of our own day to dream big and reach for those unreachable goals. This isn’t about daydreaming. It’s about stepping back from what we do each day and taking a moment to think about what we might be missing. Your imagination is a powerful tool and you need to use it. Take the time to free your mind from those day-to-day decisions so you can put your creativity to use. Dream big and visualize what those dreams would look like if they came true. As you do, keep the following thoughts in mind: A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by your action makes your dreams come true.
Fred Koury is the president and CEO of Smart Business Network Inc. Reach him at [email protected]