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I’m lucky to work with very talented leaders, many of whom are stretching into new levels of responsibility. I recently spent a day with a young leader who is running a critical region of a multi-billion dollar telecommunications company. He is adjusting to his new role and new surroundings quite well. But he was frustrated with his leadership team on the day we met.

“No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to get them to see the big picture,” he lamented. “They want to focus in on one aspect of our business model, ignoring the others. And it’s killing us.”

His pain is common. Talk to almost any CEO and she will say that she wishes her VP’s would see the world from her point of view. Ask a sales VP, and he will wish his sales managers (and those folks over in marketing!) could see the business from his viewpoint. And so on…

After a little perspective-building work with my client (see my recent post for more on this), we developed a one-page dashboard that captured important data and analysis from all aspects of this company’s business model on one piece of paper. Then we linked those data points to what’s important to his region over the next 6-12 months, linking the insights back and forth. All this was about putting perspective to work…

A lightbulb went on in his head at this point. “I need to get my leadership team to help build this dashboard and to use it to lead our whole region forward. This will keep the conversation focused on the whole business model instead of an isolated part.”

This (bright) leader had stumbled onto another of Tom Paterson’s master principles for bringing vision to life: See the Whole, Manage the Whole, and Lead the Whole.

Too many of our planning and management practices break the organization up into little pieces. Those who are charged with leadership must keep the whole in front of themselves and the rest of the organization at all times – or risk getting lost in the trees.

We welcome you to share the best methods you have experienced for seeing the big picture and keeping it alive in daily life. The more you share with the Noonday community, the more we will all gain from participating!

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