In his article, “Are Visionaries Born or Created?,” James Fallows quoted an MIT professor, “[Steve] Jobs has this extraordinary ability to see into the future….” I’m not sure Jobs was so endowed. I am certain, however, that one needn’t see into the future to be a visionary.
In Visionarie$ Are Made Not Born, the sequel to my 1995 best-seller, Entrepreneurs Are Made Not Born, I introduce my “Five Elements of Vision” and show how some fabulous visionaries I interviewed used those five elements to achieve visionary business.
Ross Perot & his son; Fred Smith (FedEx); David Abney
(UPS); Rocky Wirtz (Chicago Blackhawks); Rick Waddell
(Northern Trust); Kay Koplovitz (USA Network); and several others.
All were special, but none could see the future. They developed skills to see others’ perceptions, realities and trends. They are smart but have no super powers. Most importantly, they learned to be visionaries from others and themselves. Sure they were born each with his or her special genes, but as we’ve all been told: It’s not so much what you’ve been born with, but how you use them.
Oh, as to the nature/nurture issue raised in “The Atlantic” piece, the answer is clearly, “yes!”