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  • Writer's pictureDerek Rusher

CEO POV: The Power of Perspective in Leadership

After wrapping up our deep dive into the Five C's of Leadership – Creativity, Commitment, Collaboration, Change, and Communication – I'm going to shift gears and explore another critical aspect of leadership from my perspective: Perspective. No that's not a typo. As leaders, understanding and appreciating different perspectives is not just important; it's essential for building strong teams, fostering innovation, and driving success. That's really what this blog is all about too!


The Importance of Perspective


Perspective is like a pair of glasses – it shapes how we see the world around us. Or a pair of shoes - it can give us insight into someone else's view. As leaders, our perspective influences our decisions, actions, and interactions with others. But effective leadership isn't just about our own perspective; it's about understanding and embracing the diverse perspectives of our team members, stakeholders, and customers. After all, as they say, "two heads are better than one" – especially if they're wearing different pairs of glasses! At the end of the day, you can't be an effective leader based only on your perspective.


Walk a Mile in Someone Else's Shoes


Understanding is the secret sauce of leadership – it's what allows us to step into someone else's shoes and see the world through their eyes. Whether it's our employees, customers, or competitors, taking the time to understand their perspectives can provide valuable insights, foster empathy, and build stronger relationships. Plus, it's a great excuse to shop local and go shoe shopping!


The Fun Side of Perspective


They say laughter is the best medicine, and I couldn't agree more. So here are a few lighthearted examples of how perspective can influence our perceptions:


1. The Glass Half Full vs. Glass Half Empty: Some people see the glass as half full, while others see it as half empty. But as leaders, we see it as an opportunity to order a larger glass! But in all seriousness, as a leader, you need to always keep an optimistic outlook on things. Why not see it as half full and have a positive attitude?


2. The Chicken or the Egg: Ah, the age-old question. But as leaders, we know that sometimes you just have to hatch a plan and see where it takes you! Don't be afraid to fail! We had this with workforce and housing. Which is first? We went with a focus on workforce and eventually identified that housing may need to come first. I don't know which was the chicken or the egg, but we hatched a plan, went with it, then stayed fluid, and now we are doing what we can for housing.


3. The Tortoise and the Hare: In the race of leadership, it's not always the fastest or the strongest who wins – it's the one who keeps moving forward, one slow and steady step at a time. I received a bracelet from our church over a year ago and still wear it with the verse Matthew 11: 28-30. It reminds me to "unhurry." On the other hand, if you have wild hair and come up with an idea, sometimes you just have to go for it! As a visionary leader, I love to move fast but I do need to slow down often so I don't lose my team.


Action Items for Embracing Perspective


To embrace perspective in your leadership journey, consider the following action items:


1. Listen More, Talk Less: Take the time to listen to different perspectives, even if they differ from your own. You might just learn something new – or at least get a good laugh! When I started at the Chamber, I had a motto, Listen, Learn, and Lead. And it worked!


2. Encourage Diversity: Foster diversity and inclusion within your team, welcoming different backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints. After all, a team with diverse perspectives is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you're gonna get!


3. Stay Humble: Remember that no one has all the answers, and that's okay. Stay humble, open-minded, and willing to learn from others.


Conclusion: Seeing the World Through Different Lenses


Think about Perspective like a kaleidoscope – it adds color, depth, and dimension to our leadership mindset. By embracing and celebrating diverse perspectives, we can build stronger teams, make better decisions, and create a brighter future for ourselves and those we lead. So let's keep our eyes, ears, and funny bones open, and see where our shared perspective takes us next!


Until next time, keep laughing, keep learning, and keep leading with perspective.


Thanks for reading,


Derek


CEO, Chamber President, Non-Profit CEO, Elected Official, Proud Father of Five Daughters

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