Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.
If you haven’t seen it, Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 film adaptation of a Stephen King short story that received seven Oscar nominations. Tim Robbins plays Andy Dufresne, a city banker, wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. He is sent to Maine’s Shawshank Prison in 1947 and receives a double life sentence for the crime. Andy forms an unlikely friendship with “Red” (Morgan Freeman), the man who knows how to get things.
As their 20 year incarceration unfolds, Andy Dusfesne succeeds in not only orchestrating his successful escape but accumulating enough wealth to allow him to comfortably retire to a secluded beach community in Mexico where Red joins him upon his parole.
Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free. – Shawshank Redemption tagline
What can we borrow from this tale? For some, a double life sentence would would deflate all hope. Instead Andy patiently and meticulously planned his future and then worked his plan. The first “thing” that Red procured for Andy was a rock-hammer supposedly for his hobby of sculpting small pieces of stone. But over decades, it served to carve a gateway for his eventual escape route. Andy gained the trust of the warden, secured an accounting position, helped the warden to skim proceeds from prison labor projects and channel them to special bank accounts. Those bank accounts eventually funded Andy’s retirement while he framed the warden for fraud. Andy shared his vision with Red. It provided them with the hope necessary to mentally set them free. It was compelling enough to motivate Andy to trudge through a half mile of raw sewerage during his escape. Through brilliant planning and methodical, unyielding execution, Andy’s vision was achieved and he shared the achievement with his closest friend.
How can we apply this to our business?
Take The Shawshank Quiz
Considering the planning and execution standards set by Andy Dusfesne, ask yourself…
- What is the vision of our organization?
- Is it compelling enough raise the hope of our stakeholders?
- Is our written plan sufficient to get us there?
- Do we have the necessary engagement and commitment to achieve it?
- Have we moved significantly closer to it in the past year?
Are you content with your answers? If not, fall is the ideal time to develop your strategic business plan for improved execution in this year and beyond.
Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. – Japanese proverb