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The 19 business visionaries are:
CEO of UPS;
CEO of Bigelow Tea;
DAVID & EUNICE BIGELOW
David is former CEO of Bigelow Tea;
Former Secret Service agent, Founder and CEO of Security Link;
Senior V.P. Corporate Strategy of IBM;
Founder of USA Network
Founder of EDS, founder of Perot Systems, Independent candidate for U.S. President;
ROSS PEROT, JR.
Founder and Chairman of Hillwood Real Estate Development, Former Chairman of Perot Systems;
SARAH CATHERINE PEROT
Daughter of Ross Perot, Jr.;
CEO of Eli's Cheesecake;
CEO of Federal Express;
Former CEO of Weber BBQ Grills;
Chairman & Former CEO of Terlato Wines;
CEO of Terlato Wine Group;
CEO & Chairman of The Northern Trust Company;
Founder and former CEO of Cardinal Health;
Former CEO of Iscar;
CEO of Underwriters Laboratories;
CEO of Wirtz Corporation, owner of the Chicago Blackhawks NHL team, owner of Wirtz Beverage Group and Wirtz Realty Corporation.
About the book
WHY I WROTE VISIONARIES ARE MADE NOT BORN™
Obsessed as our society is with superheroes, it was probably inevitable and certainly understandable that a superhero status was created for business visionaries, indeed for all visionaries. It was assumed that those whose visions prove true and valuable have superpowers, likely God-given. If you assume that certain powers are determined by your DNA, then why bother working to develop such powers? Doing so seems to be chasing a futile dream. Business leaders are too pragmatic to do that; they tend to focus on achievable dreams.
Imagine how much better the world can be if unachievable dreams prove to be achievable.
For decades I succumbed to the superhero dogma. It wasn’t just a simple explanation; it was downright addictive. How did that happen? I’ve rubbed elbows with many business visionaries: representing, coaching, consulting, interviewing, studying and contemplating them. I was lulled into simply ignoring the theory (that extraordinary business visionaries were born with special powers). If I had just asked myself, I knew the theory was flawed. I knew super powers were of comic books and not real. I knew these visionaries weren't just masquerading as Clark Kent and didn’t have capes hidden under their suits. Then I started going giving it serious thought and of course visionaries didn't have crystal balls, didn't see the future, didn't have superpowers. Unlike Superman, they weren't "more powerful than a locomotive;” they simply worked harder and smarter and with greater determination and dedication, kind of like the "little engine that could." I concluded that, instead, they had unique processes
So why did I undertake this project that filled a good part of a few years? Sure, I enjoy doing this and love getting to know the fabulous people I interview for my books. There are two other reasons for my doing all this:
- It improves the quality of my consulting work. The interviewing process is a critical element in understanding the issues and underlying problems facing my clients. And comparing a client’s issues with those of other clients facilitates my helping clients solve their problems.
In consulting, I view part of my assignment as the elimination of my job. I aim not only to help them solve the problem at hand but also to enable the client to solve future problems on their own.
- I hope my readers can learn from this book and help themselves, their colleagues and their families.
With a client I can only expose the skeletal stories of
other clients, whose identities must remain confidential. It’s much like the disclaimer at the beginning of TV detective shows, “The names are changed to protect the innocent.”
In this book, due to the gracious willingness of my
interviewees, you can learn from named experts,
identified visionaries. That is their gift, their invaluable gift, to you.
For those who aren't willing to undertake hard work, the dream may remain impossible. If you are willing to work hard and to learn to work smart, you can become a visionary. All you need is a set of instructions and some guidance. To create those guidelines, I present the extraordinary business visionaries’ stories, the steps they took, which are replicable by you. After years of studying their steps, I came upon approaches which I explain in this book and which you can follow to make yourself a successful business visionary.