9 Powerful Tips from NLP Master Practitioner Terry Hickey On Being a Successful Visionary

Terry Hickey is a talented NLP practitioner who specializes in belief change work with high end coaches, entrepreneurs, visionaries, leaders, and athletes. Many of the visionaries he works with are in the film industry, including actors, directors, producers, and dialog coaches. He also works with financial visionaries and professional athletes. I interviewed Terry last year as part of my Creative Visionaries Interview Series to see what he can teach us about why some visionaries succeed and others do not.

Visionary Guiding Principles

Here are some of the brilliant pieces of wisdom I gleaned from my conversation with Terry (you can listen to the full interview below):

1. Visionaries have a higher purpose that is the underpinning of the vision they create. They also have a sense of mission — a joy and passion for what they do. They don’t see it as a struggle, but rather as a joy and a privilege, to create what they are here to create.

2. Visionaries face the same sorts of challenges and opportunities the rest of us do, but they see them as opportunities. In other words, don’t think of a lack of success as failure, think of it as feedback. For example, try on this thought, “I haven’t yet employed the right strategies.” Ask, “How is this an opportunity? What’s the learning?”

3. Successful visionaries have a mentor or coach to turn to for help reframing or thinking about things differently. Even Bill Gates and Walt Disney have had mentors. Choose mentors that are as competent as or more competent than you are — don’t be afraid of competition. Choose to learn from people who know more than you do.

4. As a visionary, your role is to create such a powerful vision that others want to create it with you. Terry notes, “Leaders have followers, managers have conscripts.”

5. Visionaries hold what they are doing as so important that they simply can’t NOT do it. They are driven by something larger than themselves. They always go back to their dream — even when challenges come up that keep them awake at night and even when they might lose people they love over it — it’s so powerful they always come back to it.

6. A quality that sets visionaries apart is clarity. They know what they are doing and why they are doing it.

7. Visionaries are so committed that they are willing to get through any stuckness that may come up. They know they must manage things like writer’s block or athelete’s slumps so it doesn’t become their overriding experience.

8. Successful visionaries recognize their own limitations and bring someone on board to help fill in the gaps. Warren Buffet, Oprah, Bill Gates all have in common that they have brought people on board to help them with their problem areas.

9. Visionaries must learn the distinctions between each part of the process of bringing an idea to fruition in order to be successful. This includes creative phase (brainstorming), the evaluative phase (feasibility), and the project management phase (procedural and systematic). Walt Disney used three different rooms for each of these processes — each had its own time and place. (I spoke about this on my free TeleGathering last week.)

Books Terry Mentions:

Find Terry Online


Listen to the full audio interview here:


Making It Real

How are you inspired to apply these visionary principles to your own Big Dream? Leave us a note in the comments below.


What’s Jenna Up To?

~> February 25, 2011. Special call with guest Isabel Parlett on “How to Say What You Do, When What You Do is Deep, Powerful, and Hard to Describe.” Details to be announced.

~> NEW DATE: March 4, 2011. Virtual Workshop: Claim Your Calling: 5 Steps To Get You Back On Track With What You Were Put Here To Do. Details. Registration CLOSES February 21st.


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