Study Guide 23: Vision

This guide will soon be available for purchase as an instant download for $5.95.

Guide opening:

Business is terrific! You and your partners have been making tidy profits from traditional operations and you foresee the situation continuing. You’ve been dealing with routine challenges and problem solving. Then you get a big idea, a vision: an idea so big it will revolutionize your industry. You know it will work. Everything – your experience, your sense of the market, your intuition – tells you it will work. Your partners, however, just don’t get it. They are conservative investors and expect immediate returns on their investments. You don’t focus on the money; to you it’s the achievement that counts. How can you proceed with building your dream?

In Fitzcarraldo, German director Werner Herzog tells the story of the eccentric and visionary Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, who dreams big dreams while running an ice factory in an outback region of Peru. Among his plans is an idea to build an opera house in the rain forest and bring Enrico Caruso to sing there. To finance that venture he decides to first set up another, a navigation company on a previously undeveloped river system. To do that he must get a steamship into that system; and the only way to do it is to drag the ship across land, float it up river, develop a profitable trading company, use the profits of the company to build the opera house and then convince Caruso to sing there! The movie, based on a true story, depicts the power of fervently held ideas and the pitfalls of linking too many of them together.

An excerpt from the commentary:

Fitzcarraldo’s real-life protagonist, Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, was a visionary of epic proportion – and director Werner Herzog emulated his subject in filming the movie. Herzog insisted, for example, that every aspect of the film be done for real, i.e., without special effects. That meant that when Fitzcarraldo’s steamship is being dragged over the mountain, you’re looking at a real steamship actually being hauled, by real people pulling on real ropes, aided by real pulleys. Not even Fitz himself did that! He broke the boat down, hauled it in pieces and reassembled it. Herzog’s obsession with the movie – which is flawed by both its length and its odd pacing – illustrates the infectious power of the visionary. Fitzcarraldo’s vision not only inspired Herzog to make a movie, but to do it in a style that would have been appreciated by its subject. Herzog’s effort, in turn, inspired another filmmaker, Les Blank, to make a movie (Burden of Dreams) about Herzog’s efforts.

The commentary is supplemented by Breakout Boxes dealing with these topics:

  • Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald: The Real Story
  • Fitzcarraldo’s Rules for Making the Impossible Possible
  • Three Management Types: Visionary, Builder, Maintainer

THE GUIDE also includes an essay that looks at business as depicted in the movies. For an introductory section on how to use the Management Goes to the Movies™ program, click through to Using The MGTTM Training Program.

This guide will soon be available for purchase as an instant download for $5.95.