Have you ever wondered WHY we shoot off fireworks on the 4th of July? If that were a question in an office, some might answer, “because we’ve always done it that way.” Others might hypothesize on the why, while others will dig in and find out the facts. The facts are, before the Declaration of Independence was even signed, John Adams had a vision that fireworks would be part of the celebration. In 1777, Adams vision was carried through, when the first commemorative Independence Day fireworks were set off. Wow, 241 years later, we’re still celebrating the way John Adams had envisioned! Wouldn’t it be great if ALL our ideas carried that kind of punch?
Have you ever sabotaged your own idea before allowing it to grow, simply because it wasn’t big enough or important enough? Keep in mind, not every idea has to appeal to a national audience, even ideas on a smaller scale, maybe it’s a work around or a new way of thinking through a project, are all ideas worth trying or at least talking through, even when someone says, “we’ve always done it that way.”
The risk of failure is often what holds us back from moving forward with an idea. That’s when it’s important to step outside our comfort zone and realize a new idea is sometimes worth the risk, especially when reminded how much we can learn from our mistakes versus our successes. What have you learned from your misses? And how good did it feel when you succeeded? Thomas Edison’s quote offers great perspective, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Can you imagine his day in and day out process to invent the light bulb? He saw failure only as an opportunity to learn and grow.
What’s holding you back from moving forward with new ideas, your vision for how something could be done better? Maybe you don’t feel your idea is important enough to offer. You don’t have time to figure it all out, it’s complicated, there are components outside of your expertise. Look around you, if your idea can mainstream something you and your peers do day in and day out, maybe it will help with efficiencies or will solve an issue with one of your top customers, isn’t that worth some time? Part of your growth as a leader is to be a visionary, even if you can’t figure out the 10,000-foot view, you can team up with others who do think bigger picture to help evolve your idea. If you are the big picture thinker, then reach out for input from those on the ground.
So, what are you waiting for, you have a great team around you, pitch your idea to one or a few of them, once the conversation gets started, you just might find they have an area of expertise you need to move the idea forward. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Growth personally and professionally isn’t always about a job well done, it’s also about having the confidence to learn along the way and make yourselves a bit vulnerable. Chances are John Adams had no idea the idea he had would make such a big bang, all these years later across the country.