Underestimate

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

- Bill Gates


I think we started thinking about grandkids almost as soon as we started having kids. We hoped that our six children would produce a quiver full.  

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior

    are children born in one’s youth.

Blessed is the man

    whose quiver is full of them.

Not only did our children start to marry young, our two eldest have now blessed us with grandchildren as well. We heard all the rhetoric about grandchildren:

"You won’t believe how much you can love those kids."

"It is even better than parenting your own."

"All the best stuff without some of the challenges."

Even with 25 years of anticipation and all that rhetoric…

We never saw it coming.

We completely underestimated how much we would love and enjoy our grandkids. It caught us a little by surprise. Maybe not my wife who is sort of the Mr. Rogers or Mother Theresa of moms, but it certainly did me.

In this case, underestimating wasn’t costly, but a beautiful and wonderful surprise.  Alternately, we deal with serious problems related to the over- and under-estimating of our clients.

  • So much frustration about what they can’t seem to get accomplished right now.
  • So little ability to dream beyond their current circumstances and carry any kind of hope for the future.

We had a company hire us to help them work on a strategic plan. We told them that our process was to… 

  1. Define culture (values, purpose)
  2. Craft an inspired picture of the future (vision)
  3. Build a clear path to that future (strategic plan)

If you define your culture very clearly...

Celebrate, instruct, and live by it more intentionally...

Your future should really different than your today.

A vision is a clearly and fully articulated picture of that future. Many people define vision as a more inspired and ethereal expression of purpose. Ours is tangible, specific, and measurable. With a fully articulated vision, creating a strategic plan with goals and action steps comes very easily.

Helping people and companies translate an inspired and powerful picture of the future builds anticipation, creates momentum, and restores hope. It also creates a serious problem. They want to realize that future now…much sooner than is possible or reasonable.

They underestimate what they can accomplish in 10 years.

They overestimate what they can accomplish in 1.

Our job is first to convince them that more and better is still possible. Essentially, to restore their hope. And then manage their expectations and help them craft an orderly and reasonable path toward that future.  

And along the way, we get to enjoy a hundred small victories as they take each step toward a destination they had quit believing was still possible.

Consider

  • Have you quit believing that things can change and get better? (In your life, your marriage, your work, etc)
  • Are you constantly frustrated by your attempts to get things done with seemingly no progress?
  • Is everything your working on tethered to an inspired vision?
  • Are you really open to learning how to over and underestimate appropriately?