Understand your perspective

High upon a mountain you see the mist from the cloud around you and the rocks under your feet.  Miles away you see the cloud, the sky, the ground, the height of the mountain. Which perspective is the better? Neither, they are just different.  The perspective you want depends on the needs of the moment. If you are planning a climb you need the see the mountain, if you are on the climb you need to see each rock.

In each circumstance you should determine the best perspective for the moment – expanded or contracted.

“For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing” – C.S. Lewis

Benefits of the expanded perspective.  This is often called seeing the big picture.  What does it look like when it’s done?  How do all the pieces fit together?  These are questions that require an expanded perspective to answer. You should be asking this at the beginning.  Before you take the first step you need to know where you intend to go. Before you offer a solution you need to align on the real need.

“The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” –  Steve Jobs

Benefits of the contracted perspective.  The big stuff is made up of a bunch of small stuff.  Even if you have the best design and a great plan to get there – if you don’t excel at executing the steps to get there, you won’t deliver success.  Focusing in on what is right in front of you allows for rapid adjustment to keep on track.

“Your big picture will never be a masterpiece if you ignore the tiny brushstrokes.” Andy Andrews

The best of both perspectives.  This is the ultimate answer.  You need both perspectives at the right time.  One is not inherently better than the other and neither succeeds without the other. Make sure you capture all perspectives.

“Good leadership requires you to surround yourself with people of diverse perspectives.” – Doris Kearns Goodwin