3 Ways Business Leaders Can Obtain and Create Perspective
If you’re in the business of leading people and making decisions, then you need perspective. That means you need to know how to provide perspective as well as know where to get it. Before I share the three main sources of perspective, understand several things:
- Perspective is fleeting and often feels intangible—yet its effects are real, measurable, and impactful.
- Without perspective, opportunities are missed, blind spots grow larger (and more dangerous), the status quo becomes acceptable, and every day can start to feel like the movie Groundhog Day.
Indeed, perspective is critical for business leaders and their organizations.
Three Places to Get Perspective
- An Impartial Third Party
If you’ve worked with an executive coach or are a member of a peer advisory board, then you understand this type of perspective. This influential type of perspective originates from outside your world and comes from a unique vantage point. It’s also closely related to the second source of perspective…
- From a Physical Distance
Physical distance wields tremendous power. For example, consider your last vacation and how different you felt when you were “away.” Travel not only takes you to new locations, but it also opens up new possibilities in your mind, which, in turn, expands your perspective. There’s a reason that artists often travel for inspiration—it changes your world. That leads us to how you can change your perspective by evolving your mind…
- From Your Self Journey
Perspective also happens as you travel and evolve mentally. It occurs through the natural evolution of self and the discipline to develop perspective.
Consider your life’s journey and how you view the world differently as you age. This shift enables your 42-year-old self to see the world through a different lens than your 16-year-old self. (BTW, that kid was a maniac…but I digress).
The disciplined development of perspective, however, is a bit trickier. Deliberately developing your perspective involves:
1) Honest self-reflection;
2) Knowing when to engage your emotions and when to detach emotionally; and
3) Creating a “perspective mindset,” through which you separate the subjects, personalities, and situations from the decision at hand.
Creating your own perspective mindset cannot occur without steps 1 and 2, and you will never be able to maintain it consistently. You will fight a constant battle with yourself to stay in that zone. The mere fact that you know this, own it, and continue to strive for it will help to elevate your decision-making ability.
How to Find Your Way on the Path to Perspective
When you seek to develop your perspective, each path you walk will help to reinforce the others. Once you have perspective, you naturally crave more.
It doesn’t matter if your initial perspective stems from physical distance, mental distance, the passage of time, or the input from an impartial third party. Each builds upon the other and leads to more. The key is to figure out where you’re starting from and where you want to go.
Which leads me to the oft-quoted African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
If you’d like to go far, give me a ring, and we’ll figure out how to get there together.