“I’m not like Gary,” said my good friend Regi Campbell. “Gary thinks big. I remember he called me when he discovered satellite bandwidth was available. He called to brainstorm on the question, ‘What kind of business could I create with this bandwidth?’”
Regi and Gary became friends while working on two different Cam Lanier companies. This was back in the late eighties.
Regi continued, “The best idea we came up with was satellite phones for truckers. There weren’t many cell towers back then. A cross-country trucker could not stay in touch with his dispatcher for much of his route.”
“Gary and I hung up”
“I didn’t hear from him for a long time. The next thing I knew, he had started a new company called XM Radio. Gary is a way bigger thinker than I am. I don’t have that gene,” Regi said.
Gary is an investor in one of my companies. I have gotten a chance to watch him up close in our board meetings over the years. My initial thought was he was a gifted executive. But now I see what Regi is talking about. Gary can see what I don’t quite see yet. This makes him a visionary, and he is also a great communicator of his vision.
We all have our gift
Regi is a “how” guy and not a “what” guy. He sees how things are getting done, being executed.
What guys are big idea guys who generally have no idea how to accomplish their vision.
When I said this, Regi said, “Funny you should bring that up. I have a friend who is a city manager. He is a visionary. He told me how guys are vision killers. Even before a visionary is finished describing what he “sees,” the how guy will step in and say, ‘Oh come on, how will we ever do that?’”
The friend continued, “A visionary with credibility and a good idea will always attract money, big money. But how guys kill big thinking.”
My experience as an angel investor and charitable donor bears this out. However, visionaries must be surrounded by great how leaders.
- Visionary leaders give how leaders purpose.
- How leaders make visionary leaders rich.
Vision plus execution equals success.