Life requires the ability to see that which is right in front of me without losing sight of the entire picture.


I’m sitting, again, in a Starbucks this morning and right in front of me is a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf of individual bags of coffee. There are a couple hundred bags of coffee on this shelf.

My eyes have the ability to focus on one single bag without losing sight of all the bags. This is actually an amazing visual operation. Think about it. Your vision allows you to see one thing but keep the “many” in sight as well. Very cool.

Life and leadership requires this same type of vision. Most of us are better at one type of vision. Some see the “immediate” with great clarity. Others, are more adept at seeing the big picture. Though we will probably always be better at one type of vision, developing the ability to see both ways is essential to living and leadingwell. When I see both views simultaneously, it allows me to enter the immediate moment or situation with a greater sense of context for the larger ramifications. It’s easy to “barge in” to a moment and later realize it would have been better to knock lightly based on what was happening in the periphery of that moment. The reverse is also true. The immediate moment teaches me how to interpret the larger picture, if I’m paying attention.

Which view is easier for you? How could you develop the other view at the same moment?