Visionary Mind Shifts

(previously Power To Stand: A Course In Greatness)
Written by Michael Skye for the Vision Force Academy

Warning:  Each Visionary Mind Shift may be easy enough to grasp at a glance, yet each is a puzzle piece in a larger puzzle called the Vision Force Matrix.  The more you integrate this shift with the other shifts, the more the matrix will begin to emerge.  Your understanding of the distinctions and the matrix itself will evolve as you move through the course.  To speed that evolution, do your best to view each word and distinction as something new, a mystery, rather than by relating it to what you already know.

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Visionary Distinction: 

Positionary | Visionary


Most people who take a stand only do it once they've built a pretty solid position to hide behind.  They make the other side out to be evil, and then it's easier to stand.  These are the old school revolutionaries.  Their hearts may often be in the right place, but they have little power to inspire lasting change.  The new revolutionaries know that the real power lies in being a visionary.  Learn the difference here.

Revolutionary - One who takes a stand in the face of the powers that be or the status quo.

Positionary - A revolutionary who tries to make a difference from a position.  

Visionary - A revolutionary who sees the kind of vision that calls one's self, one's team and one's adversaries to greatness.

  Positionary Visionary
General Context Attacks from / defends a position Stands for / co-creates from a stand/vision
Driving Forces Fear for me (self as position) and of others (others as position) Love for i (self as stand) and thou (others as stand)
Primary Strategies 1. Kill 'em

2. Convert 'em

3. Compromise with 'em

1. Stand with 'em

2. Communicate with 'em

3. Create with 'em

Results Inspires fear, hate and retaliation; results in  position-building and reaction from all sides Inspires greatness,  communication and co-creation; results in stand-taking and creation from all sides
*Nevermind for the moment if this is not fully clear.  This is just the beginning.

Related Distinctions:
(links coming later)

Positionary Value System vs. Visionary Value System
Position vs. Stand


Jodi is passionate about the environment.  She works for a  green energy business, drives a gas-electric hybrid and recently joined a local environmental activist organization.  

She attends her first meeting, passionate about the local debate about the controversy between big money commercial real estate developers and green activists who want to save the aquifer that they propose to build on.

She's sure that she can get others in the community to see the threat that the developers pose to the environment, and can get them to support the cause.  She's also hopeful that the developers themselves might rethink their plans to build atop the aquifer.

At her first meeting, she proposes that the other activists join her in going to visit the developers in person and talk to them about shared values and creating a win-win solution... and everyone laughs.  "Silly girl," someone says, "These are capitalists!  All they value is greed and destroying the environment.  Those are their only values!"

Everyone joins in the laughter, some even roll their eyes at her idealistic naivety.  Jodi fakes a smile, not sure what to think.  But she knows she wants these people to like her.  She feels conflicted.  She really thinks that something could be resolved by communicating with the other side.

She makes some phone calls to the "Capitalist Pigs" and even goes to their offices in person.  She wants to be the one to make a difference.  But as soon as the developers learn what organization she's with, they turn cold.  They are short with her, and don't seem to take her seriously.

This experience is tough for Jodi.  Maybe those guys are just cold-hearted snakes.  A few years past and before you know it, Jodi is talking like everyone else.  She's angry.  She's cynical.  The other side just won't change.  And the system works against people like her.  

A young woman who took a stand and began to see a vision for real progress, has begun the typical devolution into a Positionary.  She sees the new bright-eyed activists joining the organization, and laughs at their naivety.  "They just don't get it," she thinks.  She's sad.  She's cynical... but at least she's on the "right" side.  At least she cares.

Then one day, a young activist stands up in the middle of a meeting, and proposes they change their approach.  There is laughter and eye rolling.  But this doesn't stop the young woman.  She is passionate, committed.  She turns and looks at the people who are laughing and calls out to them.  She's shaking, she's vulnerable, she's so deeply committed to the cause... that everyone can't help but listen.  

"I can't begin to know what it's like to give your life to this cause, and to meet with so much disappointment and rejection.  You guys are my heroes though.  You're still fighting.  For years and years, you've been the only ones willing to take a stand for this beautiful city.  You haven't quit.  You're still here.  

"Maybe the other side really can't be talked to.  Maybe they'll laugh at us once again, mock us, and go right on with their plans.  But I joined this organization, because I wanted to be surrounded by heroes, people who are unwilling to sit idly by and let things keep going downhill.  We can't afford to grow cynical.  We can't afford to believe that the other side will never change."

This nameless young woman goes on.  There's something about her raw courage and authenticity that quiets the room, and has even the most cynical of the group beginning to hope again.  Suddenly Jodi's eyes are tearing up.  She remembers a day when she still believed.  What has happened to her?

A Key Point:

Positionaries are powerless to call themselves, their team or their adversaries to greatness.  Visionaries, on the other hand, see the kind of vision that call themselves, their team and even their adversaries to greatness.  

Yet even our heroes are usually models of being positionaries, rather than visionaries.  If even our heroes can't keep standing for everyone, how can we?

The positionary path is more comfortable, yet is a sure path to slow death.  It's a path paved by compromise.  And compromise kills the human spirit. 

Visionary Advantage: 

Visionaries, whether "successful" in their cause or not, have the advantage of knowing deep inside that they are facing, standing and walking forward.  The fulfillment they feel can't be replaced by righteous judgments.  Their power is authentic.  They live true to their values and their vision.  They can call the world around them to greatness. 

Visionary Challenge:

What have you become cynical about?  Your marriage?  The public school system?  Politics?  Life itself?  What conclusions and judgments have you formed about the "other side" or people in general?  These conclusions and judgments are part of your position.  See how they let you off the hook from being "the one?"

What feelings would you have to risk or face in order to believe once again?  What would be worth standing for?  The more you see yourself standing for that, the more you see what?

Meet other visionaries and discuss how to integrate this distinction into your life on the Forum Boards.

Visionary Training:

Where can you learn to see the greatness in others?  Where can you learn to stand, when everyone else is giving in or giving up?  Where can you learn to keep your vision alive in a cynical world?  Where can you learn to communicate a vision that no one else can see?  

The iStand Experience(TM) (LIVE Training Event)


Additional Resources:
Download your Visionary Mind!

> The full 8-week program on Audio CDs, professionally recorded by Michael Skye.

> 100 page, 3-ring binder Workbook, with comprehensive worksheets and assignments. 

> 14+ hours of live recorded conference calls (MP3s) We give you the entire Vision Force 101 program (normally $397) on a digital CD--a perfect supplement to Visionary Mind.  Listen to participants do the exercises and learn from their insights.

> Access to private on-line member area, where you can interact with other students for years to come.


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