Last summer I checked an item off my bucket list and took up the sport of powered paragliding. It’s a unique perspective from a couple hundred feet up, moving slowly across the landscape. I’ve seen coyotes lying in long grasses waiting for prey, jackrabbits actually forming small “herds” for mutual protection, how antelope seem to flock, and the order behind what had always appeared to be the random meanderings of cows.
Leaders have access to a similar view of the organization. This “view from the top” provides the leader with insights into their followers’ 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 “obvious” 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 it’s easy to miss something when you don’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 he’s just sunning himself!
How’s your perspective? Have you shared it with your followers lately?