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Perspective

“There is no age requirement for leadership…for things like vulnerability, authenticity, passion, purpose, or being a servant. However, when we put these in motion, our experience and perspective will play a part.” Kurt Reinhart

I launched this series of articles to share 11 “ingredients” that make up a recipe for leadership. Each one represents an element that creates significant impact and influence:

  • Part 1: Purpose – Where leadership is born
  • Part 2: Mastery – What strengthens our leadership
  • Part 3: Integrity – How leadership is delivered
  • Part 4: Accountability – How to own our leadership
  • Part 5: Intentional Influence – Where leadership goes
  • Part 6: Organizational Flexibility – How leadership moves
  • Part 7: Perseverance & Crisis Management – To what extent leadership will go
  • Part 8: Vulnerability & Transparency – How leadership reveals truth
  • Part 9: Optimism & Leadership Style – What gives leadership energy
  • Part 10: Service – Where others see our leadership

Each one has a focus and a place in every moment we are given, and exercising them is key to the growth and development of our leadership style. But what happens when we expand all into view? Not as one offs, although that is just as important given a specific context. What is possible in our leadership when all the ingredients are in view?

Perspective as a Means for Growth and Professional Development

Perspective relates to a view of things. A capacity to see things as they are and even how they might be. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. Sometimes right in the middle of the tension between what is true and real with what is perceived and relative. Between what we think we ought to do versus what we know we do. This is leadership. This is life.

Undoubtedly, we have a library of skills, abilities, and knowledge to come into play. The challenge is the variables and the uncertainty of what we are given. There is no absolute formulaic approach for our leadership. We need to balance what we know with what is front of us. It calls us to be aware, to foster an awareness beyond what we know. How do we bring everything into view as we move forward?

Start Thinking about Perspective Today

Get a sheet of paper and a pen. Draft your answers to some or all of following questions:

  • How do you define perspective and situational awareness? 
  • What are the current ways you gain perspective? 
  • What triggers your need for greater perspective and awareness? 
  • How would you evaluate your decision-making best practices? 
  • Do you incorporate perspective into an intentional leadership style?
  • When you are in the midst of situations, what are your instincts? 
  • What makes up your inventory of considerations? 
  • How open are you to the perspective of others when considering what courses of action to take? 
  • What would your team say about your ability to gain perspective?

Do these questions impact and influence how you gain perspective? Leadership, relationships, working through crisis and opportunity, managing situations and our teams, championing professional development – our approach is rarely rigid due to each circumstance being unique. What we know versus what we ought to know calls us into something deeper: to seek more perspective to make the most of our leadership.

Building an Intentional Leadership Style around Perspective

Maybe the thing I end this series with is to bolster a situational and relational awareness by encouraging our intuition and discernment. Both work hand in hand, but they are not the same. While intuition refers to a gut feeling or a hunch, discernment helps us wisely recognize and use our intuition when we need it. When looked at this way, we see that intuition is not just a reliance on flighty emotions, but is grounded in intelligence. Intuition can cause unnecessary fear or worry, and discernment can help us reel in those emotions and not let them incapacitate our thinking and doing. 

Here is another way to look at this. You and I may have an idea of what we should do, but that does not mean we can do it or even that we should do it. It may not be realistic or practical. Skills, abilities, and knowledge do not guarantee an idea will be successful. Even if it seems in our gut we are able to do it, the idea may be out of reach. What we decide to do is the byproduct of our discernment. 

The ingredients making up our leadership recipe are of service to the teams we get to oversee. They are leveraged in the pursuit of our ideas through the efforts of those who follow us. They are developed on purpose, for purpose. 

Our leadership should challenge us and those around us, not constrict us. It requires a daily commitment to be the best version of ourselves to benefit the people around us. A desire for greater perspective to put everything into view – what is seen and unseen – with no guarantees in outcome. With the knowledge and understanding of who I am, what I believe, what I have, where I place my faith, and how hard and how long I am willing to work to be the best leader I can be. 

How will you step into your intentional leadership today?

How to hone your sense of perspective

  • Discuss and develop situational awareness within your organization 
  • Explore decision-making approaches with your teams, such as the Socratic method
  • Define best practices in gaining perspective when thinking strategically 
  • Identify ways to allow others to provide insight and feedback in projects 
  • Be in the practice of assessing threats, risks, and tripping points, as well as strengths and opportunities as you make personal and organizational decisions

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