The Dream


One of the authors has a recurring dream, which he describes like this:

In my dream I am a dog who lives with a wonderful family in a snug little bungalow somewhere in the Midwest. My favorite place to nap is the screened-in back porch facing a lush, green yard chock full of trees. In the dream, I wake up suddenly from my nap because I’ve sensed a change in the weather. With my keen ears, sharp eyes, and excellent sense of smell, I realize something awful is about to happen. I know with absolute certainty that a tornado has just formed and that, although the sky is clear and there are no warning sirens, the tornado is coming straight for the house and will destroy it in a matter of minutes.

I immediately run through the doggy door that connects the porch to the kitchen and dash through to the dining room where my family is having breakfast. My job is to warn them of danger, of course, and I now use every means at my disposal to do so, barking a frantic warning and running, first in circles, then back and forth between the porch and the dining room so they’ll follow me and see the danger. The kids start laughing at my behavior, but behind the laughter, I start to see a glimmer of recognition on their faces that something’s not quite right, so I redouble my efforts—barking, circling, running back and forth, and even growling to communicate the seriousness of the situation.

Both parents look at each other in bewilderment. The mother says, “What’s gotten into you? Is there a rabbit in the backyard? You’re spoiling our breakfast!” The father starts to get up from the table, and I’m overjoyed. He knows! He understands me! He picks me up, says, “We can’t have you spoiling our meal.” He carries me out through the kitchen, tosses me out onto the back porch, then shuts and locks the doggy door.

Aside from annoying one’s spouse with whimpering and twitching, this dream can also serve another purpose. It’s a great metaphor for the dilemma of the disposable visionary.

The concepts, examples, and ideas in this book didn’t spring fully formed from a dream, though. There are many layers of research that form the backbone of the authors’ approach to this subject, and if you are a visionary, it’s important that you have a working knowledge of what that means to your career and your future prospects. We also like to present things in a humorous manner, because in the words of the late visionary Robin Williams, “In the process of looking for comedy, you have to be deeply honest. And in doing that, you’ll find out here’s the other side. You’ll be looking under the rock occasionally for the laughter.”

Want to rock the boat without getting fired?