In my free time I enjoy powered paragliding. I have a unique perspective while moving slowly across the landscape from a couple hundred feet up that is quite illuminating. Iâ€™ve seen coyotes lying in long grasses waiting for prey, jackrabbits actually forming small â€œherdsâ€ for mutual protection, how antelope seem to flock, and the order behind what had always appeared to be random meanderings of cows.
Leaders have access to a similar view of their team or organization. This â€œview from the topâ€ provides the leader with insights into their followersâ€™ roles and how they fit into the larger picture. Often though, I see leaders take this view for granted and make the assumption that their followers share the same perspective. To stretch a metaphor, they assume the rabbit sees the coyote lying in the grass, because it is so â€œobviousâ€ to them.
A critical duty of leadership is to share the vision. Provide your followers with your perspective, share your experiences, and provide a clear vision of the larger picture. Of course, while doing so be on guard for faulty assumptions on your part. The view from a hundred feet is great, but itâ€™s easy to miss something when you donâ€™t also have the view from ground level. Use your people to check your perspective through feedback on your view of things. You may think the coyote is waiting to pounce, but the jackrabbit may know that heâ€™s just sunning himself!
Howâ€™s your perspective? Have you shared it with your followers lately?