The Power Of Vision and Conviction

Filson is a maker of outdoor gear and apparel. One of many. But Filson has been doing it since 1897, and a business doesn't thrive for over 100 years without doing something right. Here is a quote from their founder in the 1914 catalog:

"The goods we quote must not be confounded with the cheap and vastly inferior grade with which the market is over-run. Such goods are not only useless for the purpose for which they are intended, but the person wearing them would be better off without them."

-- Clinton C. Filson, 1914 catalog

Strong words. I bet Filson was seen as stubborn and unwilling to change. But if what you're doing is right for the company, strength comes from never wavering off the vision.

There were probably people around Filson that tried to convince him a cheaper button would allow higher profit margins. That if the material was made just a little thinner, they could produce jackets twice as fast. But the vision was clear: We will not compromise like everyone else. Our goods will be unfailing.

If Filson had allowed the vision to be tarnished in 1914, or 1950, or 2000, they probably wouldn't be around today. That meant those unwilling to follow the vision had to be left behind. Maybe they didn't understand it or thought it foolhardy, but vision sees beyond the profit margin, and beyond next quarter. Vision sees 100 years from now. Vision sees not only how to survive, but how to thrive


This post is an excerpt from my recent book, PeopleTh.ink, a collection of daily blogs written in 2015. You can purchase the full book with 365 entries for every day of the year on Amazon and on the iBook Store.

Stephen Robles

Story Group, Lakeland, FL

Director of Creative Arts & Technology @WeAreCrossing | Snapchat + Instagram: stephenrobles