Success-Minded Leadership True Story: Making the Impossible Happen

Have you ever had an idea that you were passionate about pursuing that others told you wasn’t possible?

Kemper Freeman Jr., who built and operates Bellevue Square, one of the most financially successful malls in the country, was originally told that his dream for the space was not possible.

“You can’t build a multi-level mall and make a profit. Shoppers will only visit stores on the first floor and the rest of the stores will go under.”  Kemper was repeatedly told by the experts in the early days when Bellevue Square was still an idea on paper.

Kemper was 25 years old at the time. He had no previous experience in commercial development, most especially with such an ambitious undertaking as Bellevue Square.

He could have given up at that point. Most people wouldn’t have blamed him – the experts didn’t think what he was proposing was doable.

However, this is a story of one of the Success-Minded Leaders who inspired the creation of our leadership development curriculum.

Kemper demonstrates each of the nine Success Mindsets (vision, passion, perseverance, self-motivation, seizing opportunities, risk taking, positive thinking, compassion and creativity), as did the other 148 leaders we studied.

Using a combination of sheer passion, perseverance and vision, Kemper was relentless in finding a solution to his impossible dream.

And his thinking paid off.  He proved the naysayers wrong. After many attempts to find a solution to his dilemma, he discovered one expert with an innovative perspective – someone who was a risk-taker, like Kemper, who thought creatively, who was willing to do the unorthodox.

By building free parking that connected directly to the upper levels of the mall, they solved the problem.  Now, all shoppers had to pass by the upper level shops on their way to the rest of the mall. The second-story retail stores flourished.

This model has been replicated many times over throughout the country, spawning other thriving shopping centers.

Had Kemper not stayed with his original vision and let his passion and perseverance guide him, this project would not have been realized.

What have you told yourself is too difficult to accomplish? Or what have others told you that is not going to work?

You have the choice to believe the naysayers or to move ahead and make your dreams come true.