Leaders Help Others Gain Perspective

Perspective guides us. I looked up a couple of references on the word perspective. Basically, perspective is “the capacity to view things in their true relation or relative importance.” So, perspective is really our viewpoint or how we see things. Sometimes, things can become so familiar; we don’t really look at them with the same perspective. Tools like mission statements, vision statements or value sets become paragraphs and lists without meaning or passion after time slips away. They become the drive home, other things distract you from taking them in, or perhaps, you just begin taking them for granted as average scenery along the route.perspective

Leaders must maintain proper perspective. Leaders take people to places they would not go on their own. Leaders understand and maintain perspective on the mission, vision and values of their organization because they have actually seen the future state of the company and now are guiding it to its destination. Think about it, if an organization could get to a better place all by itself, why need leaders at all?

Find the edges. Most savvy leaders understand many issues and problems will come up along the way. Leaders problem think. What they know does not keep them awake at night, but rather what they do not know. Finding the limitations of the organization in every area and in every direction is like finding the edges of a room when the lights are out. Sometimes you have to do some groping around. Leaders who don’t find the sharp edges of their company are often the ones who begin to line extend outside of the core brand or start trying to operate outside the core competencies. After a time, the sharp perspective of the future vision can become extremely unfocused and off-track.

Allow other leaders to shape your view. Stay in touch with your team, having regular conversation about your perspective and direction. Understand there are different viewpoints inside your company which can help your many blind spots. Make sure you spend time with new employees before they have become assimilated into your company. See what things they see and compare notes. Talking with new people after the first month can really open your eyes. Do not limit this in inside conversations. Most of your perspective focus can really happen from outside the company. Talk to customers. If you really want to know what they think, ask them. Talk to your consultant or other industry experts. Outside perspective can see what you can’t. It is like standing outside a vehicle while the leader drives it, there is no way to see it all from the driver’s seat. Sometimes, the outsider even sees your people from a better perspective than you. We all have blind spots. Outside perspective is often the viewpoint leaders fear most, because it is often the most powerful catalyst for positive change and future growth.

Allow your perspective to be flexible. Leaders must be open to new ideas and changes to our perspective. Sometimes we must re-focus our perspective, which guides our path and our company. We can adopt a new perspective or we can cling to our tried and true viewpoint, but as leaders, we never stop being responsible for our companies and those we lead.

This post has been republished with permission from Tony Richards

Tony Richards

Tony Richards

Founder and Senior Partner at Clear Vision Development Group
Tony Richards is founder and Senior Partner of Clear Vision Development Group, a leadership and organizational development company. Tony makes his home in Columbia, MO with his wife and partner, Ann Marie. In addition to Clear Vision, they also own Word Marketing, Horizon Research Services, and Fusion Production & Design. Tony was a C-level executive for 20 years, starting in 1985. He serves as a board member of Big Brothers & Big Sisters, a steering committee member & leadership instructor of Leadership Columbia and Small Business Committee member for the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of Catalyst, a worldwide group of leadership specialists; He has published over 300 articles on leadership and business and is a regular columnist for the Columbia Business Times, The Rainmaker Group and Essex Business Strategists of Europe. Tony publishes a weekly newsletter, Clear Vision Weekly and an online video series, Clear Vision TV. His first published book will be available in 2014, entitled “100 Big Ideas To Enhance Your Leadership, Life and Business”. Tony was recently named number 27 of the Top 100 Leadership Experts to follow on Twitter.
Tony Richards
Tony Richards

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