Perspective is so important. Without healthy perspective, we judge ourselves either too harshly or too easily. When we have healthy perspective, we can assess the situation more accurately and make decisions quickly. Without it we are often confused or misguided in our views.
5 things that will help you maintain a healthy perspective on business
- Sort out what you are trying to achieve. Work hard at this with your team so it is crystal clear and written down so others can see it. The clearer your vision statement the easier it is to have perspective. This vision needs to reside in the leader, not be imposed on the leader by a Board or a former CEO. Then the leader needs to share this vision and paint this picture in lots of creative ways, so their inner circle sees it and wants it too.
- Develop long-range targets that help create a picture of what success will look like in 10 years and three years. It is not possible to plan this far out, but it is possible to include and exclude things in the picture.
- Develop one-year goals. This is a list of three to five things that must happen in the next 12 months if you are going to move strongly towards your vision. One year away, you can get very specific and detailed with your goals. This must be a team exercise that draws on the expertise of the people you have around you. All those who will take a key role in implementing the plans associated with these goals should participate in this process.
- Plan every 90 days. Break down your one-year goals into 90-day goals and then formulate detailed plans for the next 90 days. A goal without a plan is just a wish and wishes do not come true unless you have a fairy godmother hidden somewhere. Then you can break this down further into 30-day and weekly goals and plans that can be scheduled into your calendar.
- Create clear measures for each goal. A goal is not a goal unless it can be measured in such a way that you know when you have achieved it, or not. You can create a measure for everything. Things like dollars and timeframes are easy measures. People growth can be measured in terms of numbers of people. Qualitative goals require a bit more creativity; rather than to become better, we measure reduction of errors or complaints, or something else that clearly tells us we are getting better.
In business, doing these five steps consistently and well will ensure you maintain clear perspective. In an era of disruption, it is important to remain flexible by establishing weekly and monthly reviews into the planning process.
As a bonus, I suggest every business leader implement these five things to ensure a healthy perspective on life. Many of the issues that sabotage business success come from neglected areas of our personal lives.
5 things that will help you maintain a healthy perspective on life
- Feeling grateful: practising gratefulness each morning and night
- Being connected: making sure your inner circle is strong and well connected with you
- Guarding your health: physical fitness, stress release and emotional health
- Time to reflect: carve out time to reflect each day or most days so you can process your busy life
- Time to replenish: make sure you have something you do regularly other than work in which you can lose all track of time; play a sport, read a book, complete garden projects, go for a bushwalk, etc.
Leaders who have perspective can see what is happening in context. Clear vision and a good planning process enable you to better make decisions and adjust when things go wrong. These factors also make it much easier for team members to know how to read what is happening and respond appropriately.
When you have both business and personal perspective life is much more likely to work together in ways that enable greater productivity and fulfilment.
There is a lot more, of course, but I try to keep the above in mind—especially when dealing with difficult situations and people so I thought I would share them. It helps me learn about my own large ego, have better insight into what is causing others to inflict pain on themselves, and be better able to be persevere with those who have been victimized or are having difficulty opening themselves up to other views of life. But more important, it helps me to benefit as I continue my work with educators, physicians and nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, social workers, members of the military, and persons in full time ministry. Because in reaching out to them with the right space within me, I get to see something wonderful again and again: Good people doing great things. It really makes my day and inspires me to not just see the darkness but also all the good that is going on in this world. What a blessing they are to me and my continual need to maintain a healthy perspective.