Perspective. It’s the magical lens through which we view the world. Where I see a problem, you might spot an opportunity, and where you see a setback, I see a chance to grow. We talk about perspective all the time in our daily expressions, “We don’t see eye to eye. It’s pretty clear to me.”
Each one of us wears a different lens and it shapes how we react to situations and make decisions. So, how’s your default lens treating you as a leader? Let’s talk about it.
My Rose-Colored Glasses
Let me spill the beans about my default lens first. For the most part, I see the world through rose-colored glasses. Wearing my rose-colored glasses is like taking a sip of optimism every day. It’s not just about seeing the world through a rosy filter; it’s about embracing the positive side of things and believing in the goodness of people. Sure, it might seem like I’m intentionally blind to some of life’s harsh realities, but it’s more about how I choose to interpret events and how I let them affect me.
In a leadership role, these glasses allow me to remain positive in challenging situations, to keep my cool, and most importantly, to have faith in my team.
I love my rosy view, but let’s keep it real – it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. In fact, it’s like wearing sunglasses at night sometimes; it might look cool, but it’s not always practical.
My rose-colored glasses are not always beneficial. In leadership and my role in banking, critical thinking was key. It’s like a balancing act, making decisions based on hard data while also considering the character and trustworthiness of those involved. Should I authorize this transaction? Is this person the right fit for the team? How do I tackle this sticky situation? Can I trust my employees to follow protocols and be honest?
If I relied solely on my rose-colored lenses, I’d be handing out trust like it’s candy on Halloween. What a hard reality early in my career! Customers spun lies, committed fraud, and played tricks on the bank, and some employees decided to rewrite the job description to include ‘dishonesty’ and ’embezzlement.’ It felt like my glasses were shattered, piece by piece, as I navigated these tough lessons.
With time comes wisdom. I eventually realized the power of self-awareness, the understanding that my rosy view might need a reality check every now and then. And I learned you can actually swap your lenses as needed or seek insights from those sporting a different pair.
Want to take a peek and see which lens suits you best?
Pick your Lenses
Alright, let’s play the lens game and find out which pair might be your dominant shade.
If you’re rocking neon lenses, you’re the happy-go-lucky type. The world is your playground, and you’ve got an infectious enthusiasm for life. Problems? Nah, you see opportunities everywhere. Broke your arm? “What a lovely-looking cast I get,” you’d say!
If you’re in the rose-colored club, you’re the eternal optimist. You believe in the inherent goodness of people and trust them to the moon and back. If you were on jury duty, you’d want ample proof before declaring anyone guilty.
Clear lens wearers, you’re the practical folks. Emotions are set aside as you make decisions with cool, neutral analysis. Just the facts, please, and you’ve got a knack for cutting through the noise.
If you’re in the gray zone, you’re a bit skeptical and maybe even a tad pessimistic. You’ve got a knack for foreseeing problems before they even rear their heads. People must prove their worth to you, and you might consider them guilty until proven innocent.
Dark lens aficionados, your world might seem like a tough and treacherous place. It feels like everyone’s out to rain on your parade. Trust? That’s a rare currency in your world. You’re in the “they’re always guilty” camp.
Black and White
If your world is painted in black and white, you deal in absolutes. Decisions are made, and they stay made. It’s either all good or all bad. You’re the rock that doesn’t easily sway.
No lens is perfect, and life often throws curveballs that make us switch our shades. But your default lens tends to call the shots. So, how does your lens choice affect your role as a leader? Here’s an example.
Hiring the Best Employee
Let’s look at a classic managerial activity – hiring. You know the drill; you’re in the hot seat, interviewing candidates, and eventually, you’ve got to make that big decision. Are you fully tuned in to your own lenses during these interviews? Spoiler alert: what you hear and how you react are all influenced by those fancy lenses you’re wearing.
It’s like picking a favorite candidate based on how much they remind you of…you! See, it’s entirely natural to connect with people who echo our own thoughts, values, and expectations. It’s like a subconscious bonding session with a mirror image of yourself.
To make the best call for these critical decisions you need to pair your lenses or swap your lenses.
Pairing Your Lenses
You can always find people and information to support your views, but that won’t necessarily help you gain a fresh perspective.
Next time you’re in the middle of the hiring process and you’re all set to make a decision, what can you do? Well, you could bring in someone else to join the interview party, or they could conduct a follow-up interview. But, and this is a big ‘but,’ make sure that someone is wearing a different shade of lenses than you. Otherwise, it’s like asking the same magician to pull the same rabbit out of the same hat – pretty useless.
Too often, we seek a second opinion that just echoes what we already think. That’s not a second opinion; that’s just an echo chamber of your own thoughts. Sorry, but that won’t get you anywhere.
If you know you’re a bit on the ‘neon’ side of things, find yourself a ‘gray’ or ‘clear’ counterpart to bring some balance to the force. And guess what? That person in your team who always seems to disagree with you, the one you don’t quite see eye to eye with – they might just be your secret weapon in decision-making. They’re like the ‘gray’ or ‘clear’ yin to your ‘neon’ yang.
Varied perspectives are pure gold. That’s why collaboration and the magical art of groupthink work so darn well. All those different lenses add up to a kaleidoscope of knowledge and reality that can lead to brilliant outcomes.
And here’s a thought for the road – when you’re on the hunt for a mentor, consider someone with a different lens. They’ll be your personal guide into the world of thinking differently and the benefits are boundless. So, why settle for a one-color palette when you can paint your leadership canvas with a rainbow of perspectives?
Swapping Your Lenses
Now, we all have a default lens; that’s just the way we’re wired. But once you’re aware of it, you hold the key to changing it up when the situation demands. Although, you must do it intentionally, like grabbing those reading glasses for tiny print and distance glasses for driving.
The next time you’re about to make a critical decision, hit pause. Take a moment to ask yourself, “Am I basing this decision on cold, hard facts, or am I letting my lenses do the talking?” It’s like your internal reality check before hitting the ‘confirm’ button on decisions.
So, if you’re naturally inclined towards the sunnier side of life, it might be time to take off those rose-colored glasses, just temporarily. Lay out the facts, assess what might go wrong, and consider the reasons why not to proceed instead of charging ahead, assuming everything will magically fall into place.
Changing your glasses isn’t about letting others change your mind or transforming who you are. It is about having the courage to recognize your limitations and open up your world by seeking varied perspectives.
Resources are abundant when you allow yourself to invite a variety of lenses into your life. Plus, trying on some different shades is a whole lot of fun. It’s like experimenting with a new look – you never know what stylish combinations you might stumble upon.
What’s the hue of my leadership lens? Am I aware of my default perspective?
How’s that lens shaping my choices, especially during those high-stakes moments?
Am I a “same-lens squad” kind of leader or someone who loves a rainbow of perspectives?
Any epic tales of how my lenses led me on an unexpected adventure in the world of leadership?
Can I switch my lenses like a pro or am I still getting the hang of it? How open am I to borrowing shades from others to make my leadership style pop?
Share your insights and ideas about perspectives!