Passion and drive plus vision

July 3rd, 2019 by Nick Jacobs Leave a reply »

In my line of work, people often ask me how to succeed. One thing I’m pretty clear on is the lack of passion emanating from feasibility studies.

I’ve been dealing with these studies my entire life, but for the most part, these studies do not provide the results necessary to achieve the goals of someone with vision.

I know, visionary is an often inflated description for dreamers, but let’s face it, some people truly provide vision that others cannot even imagine. Being a visionary isn’t always a matter of just thinking big. It requires both innate abilities and acquired skills. It requires having an open mind to new and different ideas while carefully observing the happenings around you and realistically weighing the possibility of success.

Feasibility studies, on the other hand, are works of logic. They use carefully weighted business analysis and algorithms to arrive at appropriately measured conclusions that are typically void of passion, imagination, instinct, drive and ego.

For example, what’s the difference between a good jet pilot and a Top Gun? If it was just genetics, IQ or hand-eye skill, the federal government could save millions on those pilot trainees who never make the grade.

Being a Top Gun at anything requires a little different brain wiring that allows you to see solutions to problems differently, to weigh risks a little differently, to accept mistakes as opportunities to improve upon and to push harder and farther than your peers and competitors.

When you add to that an intense commitment to a dream that is not self-serving, you will see the magic begin.

I have found that a project that is supported by a conservative feasibility study will be just that, cautiously supported and often smaller and lacking in excitement.

But when it’s a “big, hairy, audacious goal,” when it’s far reaching, when it’s a stretch out of our comfort zones combined with a leader who is passionate, who embraces a spirit of not only helping but contributing to the greater good at some level, then it becomes a project that will be embraced, celebrated, supportedand loved.

If we can unite people toward goals that create a better future for everyone, creative passions will erupt. What’s the vision for your organization? What are your stretch goals? How do you move that vision forward? Who are the appropriate stakeholders to help you make things happen? Who are the informal leaders in your organization? What can you do to engage them? How do you inspire them away from the mundane, day to day realities that typically weigh us down?

In 1997, I became the president of a small hospital that had a very short predicted lifespan, a minimal savings account, and a revolving door of employees due to low salaries and a less than inspirational work environment.

My first decision was to examine my own background: music teacher, arts organization director, tourism CEO and fund raiser. What were the unifying factors created from this diverse and relatively unexplainable background?

The answer was simple. It became my vision to work to create a hospital like no other in the world. Then we choose the best existing example of that vision and worked endless to surpass it. Create “Camelot” for employees, patients, patient families and the community, then chip away everyday at making that vision a reality.

Twenty-two years later the legacy of that vision still stands and hundreds of millions of dollars have been contributed to support and nurture that dream.

You can do it, too.



  1. Randall Carter says:

    Thanks for sharing, Nick! I could not agree more based on my own experience and observations over the years. Well done.

  2. Bobby says:

    Thank you, Nick! anchor

  3. Thanks for so clearly articulating this open secret! There are many examples in every sector of history of how passion, drive and vision surpass feasibility. Let’s begin with an unfeasible experiment called the United States of America. Like healthcare, a fulfilled vision needs the continual fuel of driven passion to sustain itself. You are a wonderful tribute and model for us Nick!

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