You See Things As You Are – Not as They Are

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are,” attributed to Anais Nin.

You believe you are the answer.

You see what you look for and defend what you see.


  1. Organizers see chaos and believe organizing is the answer. A plan is an obligation.
  2. Mercy-showers see pain and believe in comfort.
  3. Teachers see ignorance and put confidence in education.
  4. Helpers see need and frustration and jump in to lend a hand.
  5. Expediters see delay and find ways to speed things up.
  6. Visionaries see stagnation and need to try new things. A plan is non-obligatory.
  7. Doers see projects and plan the path forward.

“Give a boy a hammer and everything he meets has to be pounded.” Abraham Kaplan

You expect others to be like you. Your answer ‘should be’ everyone’s answer.

  1. To a pusher, the answer is pushing.
  2. To a mercy shower, the answer is compassion.
  3. To the compassionate, the answer is joining hands and working together.
  4. To the administrator, the answer is a sequence of steps.
  5. To the expediter, the answer is high expectations combined with rewards and punishments.
  6. To the teacher, the answer is opening minds.
  7. To the visionary, the answer is moving forward. Plans are nice but not necessary.


  1. To an organizer, the ultimate sin is disruption.
  2. To the visionary, the ultimate sin is staying the same.
  3. To the creative, the ultimate sin is repetition.
  4. To a person who develops talent, the ultimate sin is telling people what to do.

One challenge of leading is rising above the limitations of yourself.

Tips for seeing:

  1. Ask others what they see, especially new employees and customers. Believe them.
  2. When things are stagnant, go with disruption.
  3. When things are chaotic, go with structure.

How might leaders expand they way the see situations?