Leaders who forget the big picture end up lost in the weeds. Without perspective, urgencies prevail.
Getting things done gets in the way, when it’s time to see the big picture.
Successful leaders work on the way work gets done.
5 reasons the big picture matters:
The big picture:
- Reminds you of the importance of others. You can’t get there alone.
- Provides focus and direction.
- Gives meaning to details.
- Explains success and failure. The big picture lifts leaders out of the weeds.
- Enables course correction.
Seeing the big picture includes observing, describing, and working on relationships processes, and procedures.
10 ways to reconnect with the big picture:
- Manage by wandering around. Your office is the enemy of seeing the big picture.
- Disengage from what needs to be done. Observe what is being done.
- Take yourself out of the equation. Assign your role to someone else for an hour, day, or longer if possible. Observe people in action.
- See what happens when you stop telling people what to do.
- Slip to the side when people are interacting. Watch.
- Stop thinking about how things are supposed to be done. Judging prevents open observation. Accept things as they are, not as you wish they were. Stop thinking about changing things, at least momentarily.
- Ask an outside to observe and describe your organization. Choose someone:
- With candor.
- Without an agenda.
- With the ability to describe. You don’t need explanations. You need descriptions.
- Explore, don’t contest, their descriptions.
- Ask yourself, “What’s making things easy/difficult?” Better yet, ask yourself, “Who is making things easy/difficult?”
- Create handwritten profiles of key people and how they add value or block progress.
- Schedule “big picture” time, at least once a week.
What happens when leaders lose sight of the big picture?
How might leaders see the big picture?