The Starship Freedom Vision

Written by Dave Rothacker on October 2, 2021

First purpose, then vision.

Visions are projections of one’s fundamental beliefs and assumptions about human nature…A vision of the future is much like a literary or musical theme. It’s the paramount, persistent and pervasive message that you want to convey, the frequently recurring melody that you want to convey, the frequently recurring melody that you want people to remember; and whenever it’s repeated, it reminds the audience of the entire work. Every leader needs a theme, an orienting principle around which he or she can organize an entire movement. What’s your central message? What’s your recurring theme? What do you want people to envision every time they think about the future?

- James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, Learning Leadership

Do you board people on your spacecraft and get them into their right seats before setting the vision? Or do you set the vision first then get the right people into the right seats?

There isn’t a set-in-stone answer to this question. It depends on the leader and it depends on the crew.

If the leader is passionate about, say going to the star Arcturus, then they’re going to board the necessary experts to get there.

If the leader has a vague idea about where they want to go, then they might board a diverse crew and, depending upon the collective talent and motivation, set the target.

When it comes to my own personal Starship Freedom, the vision is set: End the skilled trades labor shortage!

The Human Nature Obstacle

When you read, “I want to end our industry’s labor shortage,” what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? “How are you going to do that?” Right?

That’s human nature. And that, at this stage, is an obstacle.

Who is casting the vision?

As mentioned above, the leader’s vision to fly to the star Arcturus is publicly known. For potential crew members, the primary question should be, “Why would I want to join the commander on a flight to reach this vision?”

For some, they’ll join no matter where the ship is going. They want to be a part of whatever the commander is a part of. Or some just need a sketch of where the ship is going. This was me in the very early aughts when Matt Michel, CEO of the Service Nation Inc., laid out his plans for the Service Roundtable. Nearly twenty years later and I am still sailing on that ship.

It’s a good idea to put research into someone you are considering joining. Read what is available and ask around.

Does the vision, “end the skilled trades labor shortage” appeal to you?

Perhaps to a degree, but you have your own company to consider. Okay, keeping in mind the Starship Freedom is a mindset and process to deploy while traveling the Road toward your destination, you can hitch your vision to ours.

If so, you need to know a little bit about me.

The first time I wrote on an industry website was in 1998 at Dan Holohan’s The Wall. I followed that up at my own site AREA51HVAC.Com, along with partners Tom Steiger and Steve Merker. We retired that site in 2004. My next adventure was at Rothacker Reviews, a personal website where I reviewed non-fiction books. I have shut that site down since.

Although I’d been contributing to the Service Roundtable since its inception in 2002, I amped up my efforts in 2009 and continue today. That work is not public. Comanche Marketing, Matt Michel’s column, combined with a handful of articles at LinkedIn, harbor my only industry writing available to the public – until now.

Although my behavior and actions must inform you, if I could place the essence of Dave on a branding iron, this is what I’d put.

I am nutzo-passionate about the growth mindset. I spend the majority of my time outside of the HVAC industry in the fields of Leadership, Design, Psychology, Social Sciences, Marketing, Branding, Neuroscience and businesses that push the edge of their industries*. I look for nuggets and morsels that I can Radio-Back to industry leaders. I believe transformational leaders have the ability to vaporize our industry’s labor shortage. I think of myself as a Guide for 21st century Lewis and Clark leaders. I work hard to point the spotlight on others, abhorring it myself.

Does it Inspire You?

When contemplating joining someone on their quest, ask yourself, “does their vision inspire me?”

Why in the Universe would you want to work for someone or join their cause when it’s all about them and the big houses, cars, boats, toys and prestige they want to accumulate?

Their vision must grab hold of your heart and speak to your soul. Can you envision yourself in the vision’s reality?

Do I have this all figured out? Although I feel very strongly about what has to happen, I don’t have it all figured out! While the vision I have is the effect, I am not so sure that the cause - the stuff we do on board the Freedom to get there, isn’t going to be more compelling. And it speaks to my belief that Oz is the Yellow Brick Road. Depending upon your desire and effort, it has the potential to transform your business and yourself!

To equate my vision to yours, whatever yours might be, ending the labor shortage must start with you and your company! You need to conduct business and treat people in such a way that coworker prospects will line up for blocks for a chance at getting in your company!

Perhaps I need to modify my vision to: End the labor shortage at Your company...the exact articulation is a space storm I need to navigate around.

We’re going to end the labor shortage. But my articulation still needs work. I’m not afraid to share my vulnerabilities here. And neither should you! So one takeaway today is to get your spacecraft out of its dock and into space! Hammer out a vision, share it and then work on it. Trust in your crew and trust in yourself to make the adjustments. As we say here at the Go Time Success Group, “Take Massive Action!”

The one thing I know to be true:

And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.) Kid, You’ll Move Mountains!

– Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Metaphorically Speaking

I love metaphors! I love the way they help us look at something from a different angle. That slight variance gives our mind space to contrast, imagine and think.

In previous articles I’ve shared a little about myself and spent time describing the Starship Freedom as a mindset that I use to travel forward. As the Freedom continues to lay down star trails, you’ll see how the focus of these transmissions start changing to YOUR growth and development.

Establishing one’s vision and purpose is also a great way to begin moving your company forward! The primary point here is, if you want people to line up outside of your door TRYING to gain employment, you must start by creating a compelling vision! It’s okay to not come out of the dock laying down the perfect vision. The key is to get out of the gates with a good enough vision! And then continue to hone it.

*I spent the better part of two years working with Ben Stark and Chris Hunter to write, It’s Go-Time, a book about their transformation and evolution from technicians to entrepreneurs to creators-of-wealth. It’s a critically important resource to the success of the Freedom and all her missions!!

It’s Go-Time is available here. Bulk discounts are available.