For Impact


How To Draw An Owl

For Impact Ideas | | Tom Suddes

I got the following from Seth Godin’s daily blog. If you don’t know Seth, look up prolific writer in whatever dictionary you use and his picture will be there. I get a blog from every day.

With total and highly complimentary attribution … here’s the beginning of his post on HOW TO DRAW AN OWL.

The problem with most business and leadership advice is that it’s a little like this:


The two circles aren’t the point. Getting the two circles right is a good idea, but lots of people manage that part. No, the difficult part is learning to see what an owl looks like. Drawing an owl involves thousands of small decisions, each based on the answer to just one question, “what does the owl look like?” If you can’t see it (in your mind, not with your eyes), you can’t draw it.

WOW! “If you can’t see it … in your mind … you can’t draw it.”

In the For Impact world, I think this is a beautiful example of the need for both VISION and FOCUS.

What does the ‘owl’ look like? You can’t just draw two circles, and then say “Okay, draw the owl.” You’ve got to lay out the VISION as clearly as possible … with great STORY LINES to help people ‘see it in their mind‘.

Then comes FOCUS. When you’re ready to finally draw the owl, there has to be enough detail and enough of a picture in the mind to actually be able to fill in the ‘final’ drawing.

We used this wonderful analogy yesterday to talk about ‘What does a name-changing, health care philanthropy organization look like?’

We are going to use this with our Suddes Group coaches and clients to help people get from ‘two circles‘ to the ‘finished product‘ … by trying to be as clear as possible around what the ‘owl’ looks like.

Note: If you’re part of the Tribe, you know how important vocabulary and common language is for an elite team. This is just another great vocabulary word to help shorthand results!

What does the owl look like?