Needing a different lens
July 17, 2014
Maybe it is an overused metaphor, but as a keen amateur photographer I understand the value of changing lenses to gain a different perspective. I also see the value in altering the “aperture” to narrow my focus (and allowing me to blur the background out) , or indeed broaden my focus and let more of the scene come in to focus.
So ok you have all the lenses but the question is how often to you change them, to gain a different perspective?
Joe was a classic example of this. Joe is a successful entrepreneur, and such he recognised the necessity to maintain his energy levels. He was overweight and out of shape. He lacked energy and he simply hated the way he felt and looked. So he took action and hired a fitness coach.
Joe is a man of action and so he committed and he did see results. He felt more energetic, but even after a year of continuous training every time he looked at himself in the mirror, he could never see the progress. He remained deeply entrenched in a negative view of how he looked. And despite continuing with the training, he was getting more and more frustrated by his perceived lack of progress.
You see Joe only focused on what wasn’t quite perfect yet. He simply couldn’t see the progress he was making. That is until one day whilst in a training session he was standing in front of a mirror doing some bicep curls.
What was unusual this day was that he was much closer to the mirror, which had the effect of “cutting off his head” from view. In other words he could only see his body from the neck down.
And something was different, dramatically different. When he couldn’t see his own face, he saw a physique he didn’t recognise. One that was toned up. One that looked fit, one that looked exactly like the one he had worked so hard for. Joe had a very powerful moment of personal insight. And it changed his perspective on himself forever. He was simply using the wrong lens. The wrong viewpoint.
In my experience this is often what we do in our daily roles as leaders and sales leaders. We get so caught up in what doesn’t work, what doesn’t look right, what is going wrong, that we lose the ability to simply “change the lens” and hence our viewpoint.
Rarely is a problem viewed with a different lens as big as we viewed it originally. When we remove our “personal maps” and views of the world. When we challenge our own filters that block our ability to see things as they really are, like Joe did accidentally, we gain insights. We see something that changes our perspective. And that can be the nudge we need to move forward again.
Getting stuck is normal, and often a simple nudge is all we need.
If you don’t feel you have a different lens, no problem. Talk to someone. But you are not looking for advice, you are looking for perspective. That can come from the most unlikely of sources. My 6 year old and 8 year old sons have lenses on life that just fill me with wonder. I can’t buy these, but I can learn from them..
Simple but not easy….
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My Blog http://www.insthinktive.com/blog/
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