Dream big

Last week I had a chance to talk about Leadership to a group of senior managers in one of the business groups at Microsoft.  One nugget that I shared with that crowd is something that I wanted to share broadly.


In my opinion, the first and foremost leadership attribute is the ability to Dream Big.  I cannot think of a single leader (by definition successful) who hasn’t had this attribute or ability to dream big.  My father has shared many pearls of wisdom with me but the one that made the deepest impression was “If you aspire for the stars, you may reach the tree top; If you aspire for the tree top, you are likely to fall flat on the ground”.


A few decades ago, JFK had declared “we will put a man on the moon in the next decade”.  Henry Ford had committed to making the automobile affordable for all. Bill Gates had a dream of a computer on every desk in every home.  These are but a few examples that illustrate this point.


Dreaming big is a necessary first step to doing great things.  You then need to follow through with goals, priorities, execution capabilities, etc. to make the dream come true.  But it all starts with dreaming big.



Comments (14)

  1. loc says:

    If there was a "Dream Big" competition, I’d be a superstar player, if not *the* superstar.

  2. loc says:

    Yep, what I need to do is to follow through with execution to make the dream come true. How do I improve in this aspect? What I dream, I believe I can do it. I can commit to do whatever it takes to make it. I can make a good plan to achieve measureable goals consistently. What else do I need to do?

  3. loc says:

    I have to say that I envy the people you mention. Although "Dream Big" was their first step to success, being born in prosperous family would be an advantage to that attribute. There are exceptions, but they rarely happen.

  4. loc says:

    To compete with Google, the first, simplest, and most effective thing to do is to remove all the ads in MSN Search (if financially possible). Most users/people do not like ads, so putting them on the web site and in search results pages are not only distracting, limiting space for longer result’s summary, and slowing down the query (even just fraction of a second).

    Unlike Google, ad service is not the main source of revenue, so removing it would attract users and forcing Google to do the same, which I don’t know if they can afford that with the cash they now have. I mean, before they generated a cash pile from stocks and stuff, it was so easy for MSFT limit Google’s growth by doing what I mention, even if the old MSN Search technology was 30% less effective than Google search. I have a theory that MSFT got bore from having no serious competition, so they waited for Google to improve. Am I the only one who think about that?

    Anyone disagree?

  5. Somasegar says:

    Hi Loc,

    I do agree that having a prosperous background can be helpful. But, in my humble opinion, if you have the passion, the dream and the right attitude to go make it big, you can usually succeed.

    – somasegar

  6. outsider says:

    With good planning, you can aim for the tree top and get there. With good planning, you can aim for the star and get there.

  7. VJY_PTL says:

    Yeap! totally agree with you! Nice thoughts you have!!

  8. fnmp says:

    By all means Dream Big, but be careful you aren’t just Dreaming Hand-Wavy Nonsense.

  9. Obi Oberoi says:


    I am reminded of the infamous words of an Indian Guru, Swami Vivekananda who said, "Fill the brain with high thoughts, highest ideals, place them day and night before you, and out of that will come the great works."

    Last but not the least, while Dreaming Big is a good thing, it comes with NO price tag.

    Obi Oberoi

    Toronto, Canada

  10. HARI PRASAD BARU says:

    Yep,I too agree that with right attitude and with great passion,you can fulfil your dreams

  11. mr_nim says:

    Interesting. I believe the number 1 leadership attribute is integrity.

  12. Lavanya says:

    Well said!

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