Improving My Leadership Vision

Is it really worth the process?

My oldest grandson got glasses for the first time this week. It was really fun to observe him seeing the world around him more clearly and more vivid than ever before. He was so excited to see all the way across the family to the little daily chart for school that is taped to the laundry room door. He could read it without having to get up and walk across the room.

I think that I am down to my last pair of contact lenses. It may be worth checking my travel ditty bag for an emergency pair. But, I need to go to the optometrist and get my eyes checked. And that is one of my least favorite activities in the world.

A visit to the optometrist

I have worn glasses since very early in elementary school and I still have trouble with — “Is it better on #1, or #2? Is it better here, or here”? The doctor would flip a dial and ask me over and over again until I finally just made up an answer. I would say emphatically that #2 was better and he would turn a dial, flip a knob and ask the question again. Argh!

At first, I think about the aggravation of going to the optometrist. And then I begin to think about how great it is to be able to see clearly. Suddenly, I am reminded that it is worthwhile to go through the process of choosing between #1 and #2 about 27 times until they can get my new prescription and new contact lenses.

Reflecting on last week’s article

There was a lot of feedback from last week’s article on blind spots. And so, I guess I am just following the optical theme a little more to see where it takes me. In other words, I am wondering what we are willing to do in order to improve our leadership vision? 

Improving our leadership vision

Let’s back to the optometrist analogy for a moment. The first time the optometrist asked me which view is better, it was very easy to tell. He was making very drastic changes to the lens contraction. And the differences were obvious. But, as he got toward the final stages of the process, the changes were smaller and less perceptible. Many times he would actually tell me which one was probably better based on the tweaks that he was making. He “knew” which view was better because of the adjustments that he was making.

My problem was that by the time I got to the end of the exam, it all looked the same. It wasn’t until a few weeks later when I got my new glasses that I realized how much my vision had deteriorated since I got my last pair of glasses. The process was worth it. Even if I didn’t realize it at the time.

Today, I wish he could help me with my leadership vision in the same way that he helped me with my physical vision. I wish he could tell me, based on his experience and his knowledge of the options, which was better. I wish he could tell me for sure that #2 was better than #1. But, he can’t. Like so many years ago, sometimes I just have to wait for the new glasses to be able to discern how much my vision has deteriorated.

The process may be long and aggravating. But the end result is that my vision is corrected and I see things that I couldn’t see before. I can see details more vividly today than I could yesterday. I know it because all I have to do is put my old glasses back on for a few minutes, then take them off and put on my new ones and I will experience the dramatic difference. The process is worth it. I just need to trust the process.




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I am the husband of a beautiful and wonderful woman. I am the father of two of the greatest kids on the planet. I am a father-in-law to a great young woman. And I am Papa to three very special grandchildren. In my spare time I am an active blogger and writer. And if there is any time left over, I work with small non-profit organizations and churches on the topics of change management, crisis intervention and leadership development.

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