Having the Vision

At the founding location of the University of Notre Dame – 4/8/19

Last weekend I had the opportunity to take a father/son(s) retreat to the University of Notre Dame. My two sons (Joshua and Adam) and I spent time talking and walking the campus, discussing life, our faith and (mostly) their future. It was one of those moments in time I will always remember and think back on with a smile and a tug of the heart.

While spending time with the brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross, we learned about the founding of the University. On November 26, 1842, a French priest named Father Edward Sorin, along with seven brothers and priests, took possession of over 500 acres of Indiana land given to them by the Bishop with one goal on mind … to build a college.

According to the archives, the weather at that time was horrific and included lower than average temperatures, howling winds and deep, deep snow. Oh, and the land was miles from any sort of civilization (in the middle of nowhere would not be an exaggeration).

But the Bishop believed that a school in that area would do an immense amount of good, and Fr. Sorin believed in the Bishop’s vision. In Fr. Sorin’s letter (pictured above) to Father Basil Moreau (Founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross), he expands on the Bishop’s vision:

“As there is no other school within more than a hundred miles, this college cannot fail to succeed… Before long, it will develop on a large scale… It will be one of the most powerful means for good in this country.”

Fourteen months later, on January 15, 1844, the University was officially chartered by Indiana legislature.

What’s the big vision you are trying to execute? I’ve found, that both in marketing and life goals, a vision such as this is almost always lacking. Is your marketing simply trying to sell more products and services? How underwhelming. Do you have a specific idea of what success means to you for your personal life? If not, how can success be accomplished?

I was asked in an interview recently why more companies aren’t successful with content marketing. My answer was simple… lack of vision. All the great execution in the world won’t help a vision that doesn’t try to make the world a better place. And yes, that goes for your marketing as well. The best marketing, first and foremost, longs to help the audience succeed in some way. The worst marketing simply tries to sell… taking value before giving value.

Is this happening in your company? If so, maybe it’s your responsibility to call for a new or renewed vision.

The following was an excerpt from Joe’s newsletter. Only subscribers receive the full version.

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