Taking a moment to shift perspective from the macro to the micro, or vice versa, can significantly alter and impact the success and outcome of our work.
Last week I had the privilege of presenting a keynote and workshop to a group of leaders at a growing biotech organization. If you have experienced my keynote, the Five Elements of Adventure, than you have taken a closer look at how our outcomes are successes are in large part determined by perspective and our ability to shift perspective during times of uncertainty and anxiety. Additionally, you’ve heard me talk about meeting conflict and difficult conversations by adjusting our own perspective to that of the other party we are working with in order to connect and move toward understanding and finally problem solving. Not problem solving first and understanding second.
Before moving into an experiential team building project, this group at the biotech correctly identified their own Achille’s heal: a reluctance to move toward action with out all aspects of possibility and information laid out first. Their strength in analysis and risk management was the very thing that was keeping them from moving forward. The question and focus became: how to effectively utilize a strength and not be hamstrung by it at the same time?
Macro-mindfulness: See the forest through the trees. Be aware of the long game and how your actions support the success and outcomes.
One solution we discussed and employed: changing lenses daily; the macro and the micro. Take a step back and ask: can I see the forest through the trees? Do I know the end game and how I am supporting the process to get there? Is this work in service of the goal? Similarly, am I staying focused on the details that are necessary to succeed? Am I distracted or do I have a clear punch list of tasks that support the goal?
Micro-mindfulness: Be focused, present, and detailed oriented at the very specific task at hand, not distracted by what is coming next or was just completed.
As leaders our role is to hold both of these lens at the same time: the macro and the micro. Try bookending your day with a few moments of macro / micro reflection, see how clarifying the macro / micro with your team shifts the input and feedback from others. Notice your own bias and which lens tends to be your default in times of stress and anxiety. We can decrease uncertainty and anxiety about moving forward into the unknown by having a clear picture of the macro and micro perspective.