Start up founders don’t have a monopoly on the term ‘innovator’. They never have. They never will. One of the greatest innovators I’ve ever met is a doctor at UCSF serving women living with HIV. He’s never been near a programming language in his life!
Musicians are innovators. Movie makers (at least some of them!) are innovators. Architects and product designers are professional innovators – they re-imagine the mundane into the new and beautiful every day. Academics are innovators – sometimes we forget that the great inventions of the 20th century came out of university labs! Even mid-level managers in large organizations who find better ways to do things are innovators – sometimes they’re the most heroic innovators of all, because large organizations push against change at every turn.
If you’re captivated by a vision you simply must see to fruition, if you’re so intensely focused on this vision that you can’t comprehend why everyone else doesn’t see it too, and if you’re willing to apply all of your talents and resources to make your vision a reality, you’re an innovator.
Innovators need a different kind of support and a different set of skills than regular humans. For starters, every successful innovator must become a successful evangelist. You might hope that your incredible innovation, your great work and and your business results will speak for themselves. Sadly, they can’t actually talk.
Tireless evangelism – the power and skill to deliver the right message, to the right audiences, in the right way, over and over and over again – is not just a skill every innovator must master. It’s also an attitude you must embrace.
Accept that evangelism is essential to breathing life into your beautiful idea. Do what it takes to master this essential communication skill. Carve out the time to do it well. Do these three things and you can capture the hearts and minds of your audiences. You can propel your vision to beautiful fruition. Every truly successful innovator is also a successful evangelist. You can be one too!
Communication is the essential last mile in finding and motivating the right teams, acquiring strong allies, powerfully bonding with customers, and capturing mindshare with compelling stories. Nothing will serve you and your vision better than developing exceptional communication skills.