Balancing Your Intent with Others’ Perspectives

To develop a clear intention as a leader, you must define the overall change you are seeking to achieve. This is your preferred future state. You compare this future state to the status quo, and identify the areas you need to address in order to achieve success.

Of course, your environment will shift, and even change radically if your organization is complex. Your intention, however, must remain constant to serve as a compass when you need it.

Given this, embracing different perspectives is a leadership competency that is challenging. Yet, it can be learned. It involves accepting different ways of looking at the world, and allowing them to co-exist even when they appear to conflict.

An excellent metaphor for this is the beach ball. Imagine you are opposite me and we are looking at the same beach ball, which is exactly between us. We are both perfectly still and so is the ball. You might describe what you are seeing as a white circle. I might describe it as a red circle.

Neither of us is wrong. However, we are both incomplete. As soon as one of us moves, or the ball moves, we immediately see a third dimension. It is not a circle, but a ball! The added dimension reconciles our different, accurate, and incomplete descriptions and we realize the ball is read and white.

In complex work environments, leaders are constantly challenged to hold onto their compass – their intentions – and to reconcile differing points-of-view by finding solutions that embrace many perspectives.
Identify the perspectives your most critical stakeholders have. To the extent they are embraced, you will have greater buy-in among these important players, and greater collaboration to a common end.


2 Responses to “Balancing Your Intent with Others’ Perspectives”

  1. Randy Olmstead Says:

    Seth – not specifically related to content, which is generally very interesting. But the format of your web archived articles is virtually unreadable. Reverse type in small doses (headlines, etc) is great, but entire articles in white over black in smallish size type is not a good presentation. And compounding the visual problem, at least on my screen, your “standing pose” image overlaps part of the left hand content, producing white type on a light blue background.

    Keep a black border, and the interesting headline visual, but the rest of the page should be highly readable.

    Randy Olmstead

  2. Randy – thanks for taking the time to post this. You are the first of 100s to raise this point. I am curious, are others having these same difficulties? Please respond if so. Also, Randy, please send me a screen shot if you can:

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