How to Think like a Visionary

I was riding in an airplane a few years ago when Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, plopped down in the seat next to mine. Imagine that! We talked for a while, and then Branson hurried off to visit a few of his friends on the other side of the plane. I should mention, by the way, that Branson had invited me on this particular outing – and it was in his brand new Boeing 747 (bound for the Virgin fleet). He wanted to show off his new toy.

In 30 years as a business journalist, I’ve met quite a few business visionaries: Steve Jobs of Apple, Fred Smith of FedEx, Intel’s Andy Grove, Motown’s Barry Gordy Jr., and many more.

What do they have in common? Business visionaries find ideas that the rest of us miss. They learn to picture things from different perspectives. They employ intuition. They know how to drum up support for their dreams.

So how can you think like a visionary? Here are some tips:

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About the Author

Erik Calonius, author of Ten Steps Ahead: What Separates Successful Business Visionaries from the Rest of Us, is a former reporter, editor and London-based foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, a staff writer for Fortune magazine and Miami bureau chief for Newsweek. In addition to this work, he has authored several other well-regarded publications as well as works of fiction.