Sometimes I wonder how many opportunities I have missed because I think too small. It’s clear to me today, in the future our greatest service to our clients and our teams will be the ability to collaborate on what’s possible. But if I know that I simply think too small many times, how can I learn to help others think about something as big as What’s Possible?
When I joined the FFA parliamentary law debate team in high school, I thought I would just be a substitute and get some easy credits. Man was I thinking too small—I ended up chairing our debate team as we competed all the way to the state finals. When I got admitted into Ole Miss, I thought for sure I was bound for junior college although my dream had always been to attend Ole Miss as a freshman. When I assumed the position of executive partner at HORNE LLP, I thought about the opportunity for us to grow to over 400 people in the next five years. Its five years later and we are over 540 people. I only missed the growth by 200%.
So I know that my trend has been to think too small. I think it’s a natural thing we do as humans—underestimating what we can really achieve if we focus on it. If we put our heart and soul into something, amazing things happen. I also observed that it’s never one big event but actually daily smaller habits that lead to bigger things happening. That might be the secret to learning how to be more anticipatory so we can collaborate with others to envision what’s possible. The daily or weekly habit of prioritizing at least one hour to future trends and the related opportunities and challenges leads to a bigger vision. It’s the habit of focusing on the future for a defined period of time on a regular basis. The second contributing factor to being able to think big enough, creative enough is to use the collective wisdom of our teams.
We are quickly moving from the lone ranger, highly specialized expert that kept all of the relationships and insights to themselves to a very collaborative team effort that leads to much bigger and bolder results. Funny, once I recognized that I had the tendency to think too small, I began to think bigger and bolder. Anticipating possibilities has become more fun and the vision for the future could not be brighter. Are you thinking too small, too?