“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
~ Isaac Asimov
We all see the world through our lenses of perception. Every one of us experiences the world differently because our lenses are shaped by a number of variables: the beliefs imprinted on us by others, our knowledge, our experiences, our education, even our gender shapes our lenses!
Our lenses form the basis for our internal belief system, basically what we make things mean. They not only impact how we see the world, but the actions we take as a result of our thoughts. It is the cumulative effect of our actions that determines the results we achieve in our work and our lives.
Lenses, Leadership, & You
As leaders, it is critically important that we remain open-minded to the possibility of new and different ways to approach leadership so that we do not become close-minded. If we allow our beliefs to stagnate, we fail to adjust to the constant and ever-changing shifts in the business, the workforce, and the demands of our customers. This will result in a leader who is not in tune with the market or their people. When this happens, it is just a matter of time before we become irrelevant.
For example, a leader who gets stuck in the old hierarchical leadership style of command and control, will more than likely be irrelevant in today’s’ marketplace of working remote, generational differences, technology, transparency, and Emotional Intelligence (EQ).
If as a leader, you are not experiencing the level of success (results) that you want , it just might be time to wipe off the lenses which you see the world and reevaluate the beliefs you have about being a leader.
So how do you know whether you have slipped into a close-minded mindset and are in need of a little Windex?
10 Questions To Determine Whether You Are A Close-Minded Leader:
- Am I achieving the results that are expected of me in my business?
- Do I typically know the solution to the problem before I have taken the time to listen to others voice their opinions or concerns?
- Do I listen to understand in my conversations with others or do I fake listening until I see an opening to interrupt and share my own thoughts or ideas?
- During a meeting when someone shares an idea that I disagree with, am I typically the first person to voice my opinion?
- Do I typically know what needs to be done, but my biggest challenge is getting people to do things the way I want them to?
- When someone isn’t delivering results, do I typically step in an “help” them get it done or do it for them?
- Do I consistently get feedback that I can be stubborn? Or do people joke that I have my own way of doing things?
- Has it been more than 30 days since I’ve read a book/leadership article or attended a class or worked with a mentor/coach to improve my leadership skills?
- At work, do I typically have good working relationship with people in my own generation (Boomer, Gen X, Y, or Z), but not with the others? If you don’t know what these mean just say yes!
- Do I consistently tell myself, if others would just do what I want them to do, everything would be fine?
So how did you do? If you answered yes to 4 or more of these questions you have a high probability of being close-minded and in need of having your lenses cleansed.
How To Clean Your Lenses
- Do the opposite, whatever you answered yes to, for the next 2 weeks, do the exact opposite and watch what happens in your ability to influence others.
- Get a coach, a mentor, someone who can help guide you towards a process to shift how you are seeing your role as a leader.
- Chances are if you are this way at work, you’re this way at home as well. For the next 2 weeks do the opposite at home and watch what happens!
Remember the only thing in life you control are your thoughts and your thoughts are your windows into the world. If things are not unfolding in your life the way you want them to, you might have some underlying beliefs that are giving you the exact opposite results of what you want!
Be sure to take the time to make sure your lenses are clear and that you are seeing things as they truly are and not as you falsely think they should be!