28I'm writing this sitting on a bench facing the Pantheon in Rome, marveling at this glorious mausoleum built more than 2000 years ago. The building, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus, was restored to its current appearance by Emperor Hadrian about 126 A.D. According the Roman legend it is a place where the founder of Rome, Romulus, at his death was seized by an eagle and taken off into the skies with the Gods. The temple is dedicated to all Roman Gods although its real purpose is not yet revealed. Hadrian himself possessed enormous enthusiasm for architecture and the Pantheon with its unique unsupported 43.3 meters wide interior ceiling remains the biggest brick dome in the history ever created.
There are hundreds of stories like this one in Rome. Great cities, as great companies have an in-built tendency to reinforce past success. Stories about bold and audacious achievements that capture the imagination of large or important audiences. Stories about the past are easier to be told – there are tangible proofs and palpable artefacts.
But in a business context we have to be as capable to create stories about our future as those about our past. We need to nourish inspiration but also focus at what is yet to come. And this has to be as bold and aspiring as our past. Even going beyond that, to offer a promise so unique, grand and remarkable enough to mobilize our efforts and capture our attention. It's leader's task to invent that story of tomorrow - exceptional and worth listening to. Not necessarily meticulously detailed but consistent and authentic. Powerful enough to resonate with our emotions and values, extending our ambitions and our need of achievement. A story that embrace our past and spreads into our future. A story that hands a prophesy and promise prominence.
Looks like strong words? And difficult task?
But just think - what is your team's or organization's next big thing to strive for? Name it. Create its symbols. Decorate it with words and stories. Make it visible and attractive. Great stories don't always need slide decks but passion, strong will...and a flip chart. Iterate it enough for the people to get the sense of ownership. It's not your story, it's theirs. Get people mobilized around the goal, enable them to feel powerful and taste the success. And then watch the ideas unfold.
Choose your story wisely, because you'll need to stick to it until it becomes your great past. And then reinvent your future once again.
Check out these links for more inspiration.
And book a ticket to Rome.
Best regards,

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