The Cornelius that saw his future


My name is Cornelius, but this piece is nothing about me. It’s neither about the Cornelius of Acts 10 nor the one that was 7th Catholic Pope. No. It is about American Cornelius Vanderbilt – business magnate and philanthropist. This guy was so successful in shipping that he became synonymous with shipping, for which he was nicknamed ‘Commodore.’ Interestingly, Commodore Vanderbilt started out with a small ferry he bought with borrowed sum and rose to the status of richest man in America at a time.

But he didn’t become the richest man in America as the Commodore; he did as King of Railroads. And how did he transit from shipping to rail transport? Of him it is said that he saw his future in the developing rail transport sector, so clearly that he sold his last ship to invest in it. He staked everything. For him, it was all or nothing. And then he made it super big!

Dear friend, until we see our future clearly enough, we won’t have the guts to invest everything in one thing. And we can’t reach world class if we ain’t crazy enough to do that. Kindly take a headcount of all ‘world-classers’ and find that Aristotle did only philosophy, Michelangelo stuck with sculpture, Mozart and Jackson did only music, Bill Gates and Zuckerberg do only programming, Ronaldo and Messi do only footballing…

My point: A piercingly clear vision engenders monomaniacal focus to deliver world class. You can be world class ‘or’ Jack of all trades. You just can’t be both.

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