Perspective is everything. This story is from the perspective of the vice president at a mining company in Canada.
I once took a helicopter ride with our CEO, John. As we flew over one of the company’s major mining operations, John turned to me with a disgusted look on his face: “Why can’t they see the mess they’re making?” He indicated the operations below.
“Because they’re not in the damn helicopter!” I responded.
We both laughed. And John said that I had a point. In the helicopter, we could see everything. The workers down in the middle of the surface mine didn’t have the right perspective to see the mess.
There’s an important lesson here for leaders in businesses and organizations everywhere. The business owner sees the organization end-to-end. He or she has a high-level perspective that most employees don’t share. An employee sees the organization from their narrow part – from the perspective of their job.
You can’t cultivate emotional owners in your organization if they can’t share your perspective. Emotional owners can make the same or better decisions than you would (because they’re the closest to the action) because they understand the end-to-end view.
How can you share your perspective (not just your opinions) with your employees?
A hint: it doesn’t always take a helicopter ride.