By Jim Whitt
In The Country of the Blind, H.G. Wells writes about a mountaineer, a man named Nunez, who stumbles into a country inhabited exclusively by blind people. As the only person in the country who can see, Nunez is intent on educating the blind inhabitants about the wonderful world of sight. He believes that a well-known proverb has indeed become a reality: “In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” And Nunez has two good eyes.
Nunez has eyes but no one in this new place has any idea what eyes are. They have evolved into a culture that enables them to function in darkness but their culture has no concept of light. The blind citizens are puzzled by words such as sight and see which are not found in their language. Why would you need a word to describe something that as far as you’re concerned does not exist? There is no day or night in a lightless world. Nunez is not only unable to explain vision to them but they consider him to be delusional. He is regarded not as a king, not even as an equal, but as a pathetic, inferior being.
I’ve felt like Nunez at times in my work as a consultant. How do you describe the process of creating a purpose-driven organization when someone has no concept of what a purpose-driven organization is or even looks like?
Jesus used parables to help people connect the dots between what people couldn’t see with what they could see. He told stories about fishing, farming or something else for which his audience had points of reference to teach spiritual principles. That’s what a parable is — an allegorical story that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison.
It occurred to me that I could use a parable to help leaders understand the principles of purposeful leadership and how it can transform their business. So, I wrote Riding for the Brand: The Power of Purposeful Leadership as an allegorical story of how a leader transformed his company through the power of purpose.
Now when people ask what I do I tell them to read Riding for the Brand. They can experience what I do in their mind’s eye as they read the story. They get to learn the language of the culture I’m going to help them create. They now have a picture of what a purpose-driven organization looks like and the process involved in creating it. And that’s where the process of change begins. It begins first in our imaginations. “…imagination sets the goal picture which our automatic mechanism works on,” said Maxwell Maltz. “We act, or fail to act, not because of will, as is so commonly believed, but because of imagination.”
Mitch Counce, CEO of Servi-Tech, Inc. read Riding for the Brand back in 2006. I started working with Mitch in 2007 to implement the principles from the book to help Servi-Tech become a purpose-driven organization. The bottom-line impact has been a 50% increase in business the last five years. We produced a video entitled The Servi-Tech Story, which tells how we accomplished that.
If you want to know how I can help your business you’ll want to watch The Servi-Tech Story. It is not an allegory — it’s a five minute documentary that shows tangible results of what I do as a consultant. If you like what you see then you’re ready for Riding for the Brand: The Power of Purposeful Leadership. Or you can give me call at 918-494-0009 if you want to talk about how I can help you and your organization.