Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz once said, “Everyone will walk around with a Starbucks cup in their hand.” And you know, I think they are pretty dang close. To cast a vision is vital. Vision seems to be a new trendy business term with titles like CVO for Chief Visionary Officer. The CVO is expected to steer the organization’s course into the future. What markets, products and how the organization will look and feel are what the CVO must articulate. Actually, the truth is, casting vision is not new at all. King Solomon, to whom God gave a “wise and understanding heart such as no one has had or ever will have!” (1 Kings 3:12), cautioned “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). So if God says vision can prevent people from perishing and organizations of all sizes reap its benefits, there’s no question of its importance. But do we have to have a CVO title on a business card to cast vision? Must the vision be about organizations and profit and loss statements?
Born August 2nd, 1921, as the United States formally ended World War I, my grandfather, Don Cooley, was a no-nonsense World War II Veteran and student of history unlike anyone I have ever known. He was married to one of the kindest women, my grandmother Sarah Cooley, for 44 years before his unfortunate death in 1987. I was 10 years old. My grandfather was a masterful visionary of future generations. I remember one time he had all the grandkids participate in bringing items for burying in a time capsule. Although we never discussed it, I think his knowledge of history was a reminder of James 4:14: “Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”
The accompanying photo is of a note Grandpa wrote me in a little comic book 38 years ago today. Grandpa was 57 years old at the time and I know he had to have thought if he would make it to see me read it this day, he would have been 95. This note challenges me to cast vision not only for my career but for my family, for my son and his kids as well as remembering history to keep perspective, after all… this life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.
Thank you, Grandpa, for my little birthday note 38 years ago today.