In Part III, Daniel will show you how to start implementing The 7 Perspectives in your business. You’ll learn how to deploy intentional curiosity and how to find your blind spots.
So, a leader’s effectiveness, it’s determined by two things; the decisions they make and the influence they have.
I’m going to say that over and over and over again because I believe it at the very core of my being. You need to see the business from seven different perspectives if you want to make the best decisions and have maximum influence.
So real quickly, let’s go through them again. Perspective One is all about Current Reality. You understand the business as it is today. You get it. You know how it works, why it works, and what got it here.
Perspective Two, Vision. You can clearly see where you’re taking the organization. You can see a better tomorrow. That better tomorrow causes you to want to stretch and it engages the heads and the hearts of those that you lead. It’s essential for us to be effective leaders.
And then, Perspective One and Perspective Two, just like a GPS. That’s your starting point and your end point. And that creates what we call the “opportunity gap.”
Strategic Bets. Those Strategic Bets, grounded in Current Reality, anchored in Long-Term Vision. They’re adequately resourced. They’ve got a team, they’ve got a leader, you’re focusing on them so that you increase the odds of those bets paying off.
Perspective Number Four, the perspective of The Team. You’re regularly having conversations with your team to find out what they need, what they’re thinking, what they see, where they see opportunity, where they see challenge.
You’re disciplined. This isn’t a happenstance thing. You’re intentional with talking to and engaging the thinking and the buy-in of your teammates.
Perspective Five, the perspective of your Customers. You’re not trusting surveys. You’re spending time talking to your customers. You’re talking to them about how it is to do business with you today.
And you’re learning from them. What is it that they’re going to need from you as they’re leading their businesses or their lives, as they look forward into the years ahead? That’s feeding you and helping you to make the best decisions when it comes to Strategic Bets.
Then Perspective Six, the perspective of your Role. You see what your high-payoff activities are, you know where you have sound thinking and you see where you need to grow. So, you’re managing the business well, and you understand what you need to be doing today, but you also understand where you need to be growing so that you can be the leader that doesn’t hold the organization back on your way to that Vision that you clearly see.
Then Perspective Seven, the perspective of The Outsider. You’ve got an outsider or a group of outsiders that they care about you enough and your organization enough and your leadership enough to help you to process through the chaos of these six perspectives and all the other noise that you’re having to deal with as you’re leading your businesses today. These outsiders, they care, they’ll challenge, they’ll encourage, they’ll confront, they’ll hold you accountable. Oh, and they’ll fan the flame when you need to continue to go.
If you’ve got all these Seven Perspectives, you are now equipped to make the best decisions and have maximum influence.
All right, there’s one key ingredient that I want to unpack for you. You’ve heard me mention it and it’s intentional curiosity. Intentional curiosity—it’s not reactive happenstance. Intentional curiosity is something that you deploy because you’re humble enough to know that you don’t have all the answers and you know that your job isn’t to have all the answers.
You’re not the superhero leader. You’re the leader that extracts all of the right information from the right people so that you can come up with the best intel, then make the best decisions and have maximum influence so that you can move the organization forward.
It requires humility. You need to be okay saying, “I don’t know.” You need to be okay asking your team “who in the room is the most knowledgeable? “Where do we go to get the information if it’s not us?”
In 2020, unlike any time ever before, your humility is going to be the absolute essential fuel for you to lead your organizations through the challenges that we’re facing. So, you have to have humility to then deploy intentional curiosity.
Don’t buy the lie that you need to have it all figured out. You’re also going to need some time because intentional curiosity requires you to think about the questions you’re going to ask.
You need the time to see behind the reports, the metrics, the indicators. You need the time to think about the questions you’ll ask of your teammates and your customers, to understand what it is that they’re seeing and what they’re thinking about and what would excite them about your business not just today but in the months and years ahead. So, you need time.
You know, you may be way ahead of your teammates on a topic, on a strategy, on a problem. You need patience.
Because not everybody is at your speed in thinking about the problem or the opportunity. So, you need patience to cultivate the insights, the opinions, the perspectives of those around you.
So, in order for us to have intentional curiosity, in today’s times in particular, especially when we’re not walking the floor in our offices, when we’re not able to just drop into our colleagues’ offices.
For most of us, that time, that skill, that patience, to be intentionally curious, it will make you or break you. But if you have intentional curiosity in these seven and you have discipline with this intentional curiosity and you think about the questions you’re going to ask, you think about the desired end result of every conversation—well, then you’re going to be more successful.
But what you need to understand as well is that there are some things that are working against you. There’s some blind spots that I want you to be aware of. I’ve now been a coach to executives for the last two and a half decades. I see that leaders have natural skill. They have natural energy to certain areas of their business based upon their training, their education, you know, their experience. And therefore, like I’ve said, they might see three or four of the perspectives with ease, but they don’t see the other three or four. You need to see all seven.
I wish you didn’t. You can’t delegate it away. You’ve got to be disciplined in each of the seven. You need to care about each of the seven. You need to see them. If you do, and if you have time allocated to think about and see each and every one of them, you’re going to make better decisions. That’s blind spot number one—you don’t see each of the seven.
Blind spot number two is that maybe you don’t value them all. You know you don’t value them all equally. You value Vision or you value Current Reality, or you value the Current or the Perspective of the Customer. But you don’t see equal value in all of them.
And I’m here to challenge you and to say you need to see all of them and value all of them equally because without any one of them, you have a deficit. Oftentimes leaders will spend all of their time in the areas where they have immense skill, or they have immense thrill.
They value what they’re really good at or what really excites them and creates energy. You need to do the hard work and not over delegate here. Maybe you don’t understand them — blind spot number three. You just don’t understand them, and in today’s times, you’re not alone.
There’s so much about the business that I don’t understand when it comes to Building Champions and I’ve got to ask questions. I have subject matter experts with all of my leaders. I don’t need to have their level of understanding, but I do need to have a competent level of understanding or else they’ll know my decision-making is going to be not what it could be. I need to understand them, which means I need to be humble and I need to ask questions. I need to say, “I don’t know.” I think of the best leaders, they’re always the best questioners.
So, if you don’t understand, just let people know. Let your team know, let your consultants know, your outsiders, your coaches. Let them know that you don’t understand, and you need to understand.
The next blind spot is you don’t think about them. And I see this as a huge problem right now. As I’m speaking to you here, just weeks before the election, and I understand your reality of Zoom fatigue – meeting after meeting, after meeting, after meeting.
What’s come at a significant cost is our thinking time and the best leaders see thinking as one of their high-payoff activities. We call that “On Time” at Building Champions. Don’t fall prey to the blind spot of not thinking about each of the Seven Perspectives.
What are the questions you need to ask? What are the other inputs that you need? Who else do you need to be talking to? What else do you need to be seeing? What’s possible? What strategic bets today, in this current reality, are making sense or not making sense in comparison to when you deployed the bets back in 2019?
You need to think about this stuff. The best leaders are disciplined thinkers. And then, finally, the blind spot of not acting on them. This is where clarity, confidence, and courage come into play. I have a saying that I’ve become very fond of in the last years and it’s a military saying and it’s “mission first, people always.”
Leaders, we need to understand that in 2020 we’ve had to go above and beyond to care for people and that’s an act out of our hearts, right? This has been a scary year and some of us have lost people. The price that we paid in 2020, for many, has been significant.
The end of the day, our shareholders, our organizations, our communities need us to lead with clarity, with courage, with confidence. And we need to take action. “Mission first, people always” is the saying. We need to be focused on the mission. We need to act as a result of what we learn in these Seven Perspectives to carry forward the mission and we need to be thinking about people all of the time as we do so.
Leadership is about action. It’s not just about seeing, it’s about the doing. So, here’s what I’m going to ask you to do. I’m going to ask you, if this is resonating with you, to see where you are in comparison to a whole bunch of other leaders that are going through The 7 Perspectives framework.
We’ve created an assessment that will enable you to see where you’ve got strength and opportunity to improve, not just on your own, but in comparison to our database. And then, you and your team can take the assessment to see where you as a team score and where you have strengths and where you have vulnerability.
Then there’s the book. The book is filled with examples of great leaders, the Founder of Crate and Barrel, the Chairman of Delta who used to be the CEO of Home Depot, the previous CEO of UNICEF, the Chairman and CEO of Daimler. There’s leader after leader in this book and they’re all sharing their perspectives on The Perspectives. It’s filled with great insights and it will help you. It’s straightforward. This book is steeped in five years’ worth of work and it’s ready for you right now. My hope is that you’ll buy it. My hope is that you will use it with your management team and that your organization will deploy the framework.
And then, if you buy the book new, we’ve got some bonus resources for you that you can deploy right now. Years ago, I read a book. In the book, the author said that “if you don’t think that your talk will change the world, then you shouldn’t give it.”
And I’ve done my best to try to live to that. I won’t say “yes” to a speaking engagement unless the subject that I’m speaking on, as well as my competence and knowledge on that subject, if I don’t think they can change the world or really move the needle for those that I’m speaking to, I say “no.” and I’m holding myself to that same standard when I write books. And I did with The 7 Perspectives and I believe that The 7 Perspectives, right here, right now, this is the right time for the book.
And I’m really glad I didn’t write it five years ago because I think this book, right here and right now, is the book that you need to read. It’s the book that will help you to make sense of leadership chaos, to best lead yourself, organize your thinking and your behaviors, so that your leadership effectiveness grows. You’ll make better decisions, you’ll have more influence, and everybody around you will be grateful for it.
So, once again, thank you for your investment of time and your interest in The 7 Perspectives. I’m confident that if you deploy this, it will help you to be a more effective leader, just like it has countless leaders over the last five years. If there’s anything you need, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
We’re here to help you. All right. Deploy the seven perspectives and please let me know how it goes.