What if you had a camera that gave you the most clear accurate picture of what was going on in your world? If you don’t have one of those, are you sure you’re looking through a lens that allows you to see what is really going on? Well, there’s good news! There is a new camera designed just for leaders looking to get an accurate picture of themselves and the team they have the privilege of leading. Okay, okay, actually, it’s merely an analogy and three suggestions that will ensure you see clearly, but wouldn’t it be nice if there WERE a camera specifically designed for your leadership vision?
Here are the suggestions to keep in mind when using your leadership lens:
Take Off the Lens Cap!
Who hasn’t tried to take a picture only to realize that your lens cap was on or your finger covered up the frame? In leadership, this is problematic so always keep an eye out for your lens cap. If you put your head in the sand and ignore issues that are going to be a problem later, thinking they will go away, this is just like taking a picture with the lens cap on. Take that cap off, look at the problem or issue head on, and give feedback on your snapshot of reality. Of course, also keep in mind they will have a different angle and you will want to look at that one, too.
Watch Your Filter!
If you take a picture with tin foil covering up your lens, it works much the same as the lens cap. No clear view. If you take one with tissue paper covering up what you see, the picture will be fuzzy, in soft focus, or you may only see shadows of what is really in front of you. Ever tried to drive at dusk? Same affect. If you take a picture of what’s in front of you with saran wrap on the lens, your picture will be distorted as if you are looking through water in most cases. None of these change what IS in front of you they merely change how you see it. Best way to see something clearly is to watch the filter you apply to your view. This includes emotions, stress, fatigue, and expectations. Those are a leader’s primary filters through which many events will look different than perhaps they really are. Just as your side view car mirror SHOULD say “Objects may be clearer than they appear”.
Double Check the Auto Focus Setting!
Auto focus is the same as applying a habitual perception or view point to a situation that has different circumstances. If you are habitually looking at something without considering all the facts that will produce the same reactions, responses and actions that you may no longer desire. Want different results? Change how you see the situation and those involved.
Analogies help to paint a picture and in this case, the lens of your leadership “camera” and how you use it or what you cover it with, can make all the difference. Consider what you see and how you respond and before you do so, check the settings of your view point. If you’re short on time, a poor viewing of a situation may create a need to allocate more time to a problem through damage control. Also keep in mind that however you look at something, it dictates how you think about it and thus, how you feel, and what reactions you will have. And of course, we all know that as a leader (of you or of others) every action you take is contagious!