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5 ways leaders see things differently

May 23, 2016 | by Paul Greasley

Leaders see things with a clarity that brings life into focus. Leaders see things that other people don’t see. Good leaders correctly use God’s gifts of eye sight and insight to influence the world and the people in it. A leader’s insight goes beyond the physical. Both kinds of sight are essential qualities of good leadership.

Physical eyesight is one of the five senses. We take special care to preserve our vision. In 2012 the total vision care market in the U.S. generated about 34.54 billion dollars. Costs have risen annually since then.

There are many ways we express our agreement or disagreement with each other using the analogy of sight. Sometimes we say that we see eye-to-eye about a certain situation. At other times we say that we can see the view point of another person. We even express the desire that another person would see things like we do.

Christian leaders need the ability to see things like God sees them. This supernatural vision is more remarkable than Superman or the latest techniques that come from medical tomography. Seeing things from God’s perspective involves comprehending his divine plan and purpose. Even more insightful is understanding the eternal principles that govern God’s purposes.

Seeing is believing
It is essential to understand that everyone sees the world through their own eyes. We believe what we see and trust our eyes to reveal the world around us. We take action based on sight and tend to avoid shadows or darkness for fear of the unknown. At times we express the need for better insight and the need to shine a little light on the subject.

Here are five ways that illustrate how leaders really do see things differently

1. Leaders see mistakes as an investment in learning.
Leaders see occasional failure as inevitable. No one likes to fail. However, leaders see failure as a way of growing in experience and proper decision making. Only a few organizations led by fearless leaders spend the resources to understand the reasons for missed goals or failures.

2. Leaders see each person as an individual created in God’s image.
Leaders see value in each person for their uniqueness and giftedness because they understand them as persons who are endowed with personhood by God Almighty. Persons with distinctive personalities uniquely see things and leaders value those differences like the various spices that go into an epic recipe. No 2 snowflakes are the same. We are uniquely created by a most creative God.

3. Leaders encourage others to see things differently.
Leaders champion diversity with an appreciative understanding that everyone sees things from their own perspective. They see value in the different vantage points of others. Leaders develop a total picture of their operating environment by seeing to it that everyone has an opportunity to participate according to their skills and abilities.

4. Leaders see through the eyes of situational awareness.
Leaders see that they are in tune with their environment. They know others in context. They are aware of different communication habits, different learning preferences, and different motivations. Leaders are aware of diverse organizational perspectives like travelers sitting in different seats of a car all going to the same destination but with different viewpoints.

5. Leaders see the past, present and future as a continuum of experience. 
Leaders see themselves and their organizations as dynamic rather than static. They see organizational cycles of life and anticipate impending changes. Leaders see changes in patterns before others and prepare accordingly. Leaders are not negatively surprised by change and value time wisely.

Sight and insight
A leader’s window into the world is their sight and insight. Both are developed through time and experience. Leaders who see things differently realize that it is possible to change the world which makes leading a lot easier. Let’s see things differently!

Photo source: istock


Paul Greasley

Paul E. Greasley holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership and is an experienced servant leader, a retired aerospace engineering manager, a big rig driver, an active community volunteer, an adjunct professor and an entrepreneurial business owner.



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