In Part II of the 7 Perspectives Video Series, Daniel Harkavy unpacks and defines the perspectives, and explains how each one works with the others to help you become an effective leader.
A leader’s effectiveness is determined by just two things; the decisions they make and the influence they have.
This framework that we’ve been using for years with our clients is proven, but you need to have discipline and you need to have intentional curiosity in each of the seven. So, in this video, what I want to do is, I want to unpack each of the seven.
Perspective Number One is Current Reality. Great leaders understand the business today. They don’t get so far off and live in the ivory tower that they don’t understand what’s happening and how the business is functioning.
To understand Current Reality means that, that you’ve got clarity around your plans for today and in the months ahead, and maybe even for the year.
You also understand what got the business to where it is today. You’ve got key metrics that you review constantly. Now, constantly can change depending upon how the business is going, whether it’s sailing and growing, or, or whether it’s diving into the ditch. And in 2020, I know many of us have had that experience early on, or at least we were concerned about that.
So, you’re looking at metrics at different frequencies but you understand the business. You understand the leading and the lagging indicators. You know where to look. You understand the competitive landscape, the economic landscape, the legislative landscape, the health landscape. You understand Current Reality.
You can’t delegate this away. Now, you can delegate all sorts of functions with regards to Current Reality, but the best leaders understand it. And what I like to say is that the best leaders have both feet firmly planted. They’re grounded in Current Reality. Because if they do, they make great decisions and then their teams know that they’re making great decisions, they understand the business. So subconsciously, influence increases.
Without Current Reality, understand that your, your beginning point on your GPS, it’s going to be off and therefore everything else you do, it will suffer.
Perspective Number Two is Vision. Leaders, you’ve got to see a better tomorrow. I love what Dr. Henry Cloud says. He says, “great leaders make the invisible visible.”
We’ve got to be visionaries and we need to be talking about tomorrow and how it’s going to be better. if we’re going to be effective. We need to see it, we need to be able to paint such a vivid picture that our teammates know how to grow, how to stretch, what strategies to deploy, how they need to develop. They know what direction they should be going in.
So, what I want you to think about with these first two perspectives, Current Reality and Long-term Vision, just like in my book, Living Forward, it’s a GPS. Current Reality is your starting point. You’re grounded in it. Long-Term Vision is where you’re throwing an anchor and you’re pulling the organization towards it.
Now, when you see those two, you create a gap, you create what we call an opportunity gap between Current Reality and that future state. That’s where Perspective Three comes in. Perspective Three are Strategic Bets. See a lot of organizations and leaders fail when it comes to executing strategy and it’s because they don’t have their Strategic Bets grounded in Current Reality and anchored in Long-term Vision.
Strategic Bets are risky. They’re not guarantees. But when you do this right and you apply this framework, if you understand Current Reality, you know what resources you have to deploy into your Strategic Bets. And, you know what a win is going to look like with your Strategic Bets because the purpose of these bets is to move you from Current Reality to that long-term future state.
So, Strategic Bets are critical. If we deploy these Strategic Bets and they pay off, they move us from Current Reality to that future state, which is better.
So, you see how those three work together. Current Reality can manage the business today, understand it. Long-Term Vision required for leadership. “Hey team, we’re going to a better tomorrow.” And then, you see how that creates that gap which is where Strategic Bets fill, and that’s where organizations continue to grow and evolve in radical ways. Not incremental responsive, reactive. This is intentional.
So, so, you see those three. You’ve got to see the fourth, and a lot of leaders miss this one. The fourth is the Perspective of the Team. Don’t buy the lie that you have to have all the answers. You have to deploy intentional curiosity with the team.
Great leaders know that they have the freedom to move through the layers of the organization, to talk to anybody in the organization. That’s not micromanaging. The best leaders are meeting with the people on the floor, in the stores, on the front lines, on the manufacturing line – the people that are actually doing the accounting work, the selling work, the calling. They’re talking to them, they’re finding out what it’s like to do business in the organization, right here, right now.
And they’re always looking for what it is that they might be missing in the reports and they’re always looking for what do their teammates need in order to be more successful. They’re getting their teams input on everything from Strategic Bets to future state to how to best serve the customer.
Perspective Five is the perspective of the Customer. The best leaders are intentional with spending time with their customers, with their clients, to find out what it’s like to do business with their organization today.
What could the organization do better? They don’t trust surveys. They use surveys, but they understand that surveys can be written in a way that might give you information that’s not completely true. So, the best leaders are, are having these conversations with their customers.
And they’re asking, what’s it like to do business with us? What could we be doing better? What do you wish we were doing that we’re not doing?
And then, they ask them this next set of questions which is, what do you see for your business? What are your challenges? Where are you going to be headed in the next three to five years?
Then, they take that information back. They meet with their teammates, they get their team’s perspective on that, and all of this informs Strategic Bets. How we execute, how we operate, those first five are critical.
Perspective Six is one where I’ve seen many leaders struggle, and that’s the perspective of your role. Oftentimes, leaders don’t continue on their growth and development path. And as a result of that, they’re the ones that hold their organizations back.
So, what you need to see in your role is, what’s absolutely required in order for you to manage the business well today? What’s required of you in order to execute on those Strategic Bets? Where do you need to be deploying your time, your energy? And what do you need to be filling your calendar with in order to be the manager and leader that the business needs you to be today?
Oftentimes, in this crazy world that we find ourselves in, leaders get greatly deluded. They get called into all sorts of areas of the business that they themselves should not be involved in. They need to be delegating, they need to be coaching and empowering others to be making decisions and to be speaking into areas of the business that they themselves shouldn’t be.
So, as a result of that, they find themselves so busy that they’re no longer effective. So, Perspective Six is all about seeing what it is that you’ve done in times past that will enable you to be wildly successful right here and right now, as well as, where do you need to grow in order to be the leader that your vision’s going to require of you.
Which means, you need to be open, you need to be humble, you need to be looking to grow your skills, your belief, your disciplines, how you operate. The Seventh Perspective is the Perspective of the Outsider.
And that’s what Outsiders do. They help leaders like you to see your role and all of the other perspectives so that you can think well and then you can operate out of this healthy, well-informed state, to be the best leader you can be. The Outsider is the CEO Mentor or the coach or that one board member that goes above and beyond to really help you to operate in ways that will enable you to be successful, not just at work, but in life.
They understand you; they get you, they’re for you, and they care enough for you that they’ll challenge you. They’ll hold you accountable. They understand the other Six Perspectives and they will help you to be more successful.
Now, now, you’ve got to see, there’s not one perspective that’s more important than the other. In this framework that we’ve been using in businesses like yours for the last five plus years, what we’ve seen is that you’ve got to see all of them.
This framework, connecting all of the leadership dots, when done together, with discipline, with rigor, with skill, you’ll make better decisions and you’ll have more influence, and as a result of that, you will have more clarity, you will have more confidence, and you’ll have more courage. And that’s required to lead your business, especially in 2020.
In the next video, I’ll share some tips that will help you to implement the framework as well as some blind spots for you to avoid. I’ll also share with you some resources that we’re going to be releasing that will help you to be most successful with The 7 Perspectives framework.