Seeing What’s Not There

Back when I worked in advertising, it took me years to understand that some of my clients simply weren't able to “see,” in their minds, the things I “saw”’ when I presented them with new ideas. What it would look like, the sounds, the mood, the tone.

Many of them were just too literal. They had to actually see it with their eyes to understand it. They weren't trying to be difficult when they rejected an idea. They just didn't really understand what the idea actually was. In some ways, it required a much greater leap of faith on the parts of those who actually did approve the work.

Can you see what's not there? Can you hear the words no one has spoken? Can you complete the sentence, “What if…” with confidence and clarity?

If you can't, learn to. It is a critical component of innovative thinking, and therefore, success in today's world of continuous reinvention.

And then, get really good at painting the picture for others. Help them “see” your vision. Because whether your work lives or dies almost always depends on a thumbs-up from someone else.

Being a creative genius isn't enough. You must be a brilliant painter, storyteller and tour guide, too!