8 Ways to Choose Wide over Narrow

raccoon, choosing wide over narrow

Typical business wisdom says, narrow your focus. Successful organizations do a few things very well. Less is more, but not always.

4 perils of narrow:

  1. Shuts down rather than turns on.
  2. Closes off rather than opens up.
  3. Rejects rather than explores.
  4. Pulls back rather than reaches out.

Narrow establishes limits. Reject the perils of narrow. Go wide.

8 ways to go wide:

  1. Look toward people, not away. Narrow reflects arrogance and detachment.
  2. Move toward problems and challenges quickly and responsively.  Jump in the mud optimistically.
  3. Release don’t restrict. Go narrow with what and wide with how. Patton said, “Don’t tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”
  4. Do what you can with what you have. Limited resources invite protective attitudes. Protecting preserves the past but doesn’t build the future.
  5. Talk into not out of. Pursue yes. Saying no is the easy way out.
  6. “Do for one what you wish you could do for all,” Andy Stanley.
  7. Trust your strength. You’ll find a way.
  8. Act humanely. Acceptance isn’t approval. Narrow equates people with performance. Wide accepts people even when performance falls short.


Choosing wide over narrow, like other leadership principles,  calls for wisdom and discretion.

Which “wide” principle most challenges you?

How can leaders choose wide and not become too thin?

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