The questions I ask are not overly complex; what did I see/experience, what did I do/not do, what did I learn/teach, and what did I miss?
More than any year in the past, this year has filled each of my question buckets to the point of overflowing. So much so it has become difficult to process the entire year. Through it all there does seem to be a theme forming that has inspired this early morning keystroke workout.
To sum up the year one word keeps coming to the forefront, perspective.
In a nutshell, what I experienced this year is that my perspective can be and has been limited at times. When I ask myself the question, "What did I find myself doing or not doing this year?", I recalled the multiple times I found myself needing to change my point-of-view in order to see more.
For most of my life I worked under the assumption that my point-of-view was the only view that mattered. My thinking was simple, if I could just get everyone to stand where I stand and see what I see then life would be so much better.
As a leader, I frequently find myself speaking to large groups with the sole purpose of presenting a point of view so passionately that others want to join in the journey. Unfortunately, what I have been failing to realize is that what works from the stage does not always translate into the close contact world of the day-to-day.
It is encouraging to know that it is possible to still enter learning mode even while growing ancient in days.
The Learning Journey
Dee and I made the move this year from the lush green suburbs of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to a more urban high-rise setting in downtown Dallas. The photo above is the view from our balcony overlooking downtown Dallas. For a life-long country boy I must admit the view is intoxicating.
However, as wonderful as the view is, it is still the only view I have. Just recently, I was speaking with another resident in our building about our splendid view and they casually mentioned how wonderful their view was also. I was a bit stunned when I heard this and felt a slight competitiveness coming on as the conversation progressed.
Then it happened, I had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the view they were speaking of and, well, lets just say I was blown away. The story they told me about their view gave me a glimpse into what I later had the opportunity to experience. Even if I had never physically seen their view I had experienced it all the same by just hearing them tell me the story. (Side Note: I had to let myself HEAR their story to truly experience it)
For much of my life I have felt that my "balcony view" is the only view worth seeing. What I take away this year is while my view may have some breath-taking vistas there is much to learn from standing on other balconies and taking in the view.
While my learning moments throughout the year have been many, most of them written about in this blog, I close the year with four simple reminders for myself.
to g in the view.
- When I work to passionately understand others perspective first then I am given permission to passionately share my perspective next.
- The view from my balcony is NOT the only view.
- The more views I passionately experience (sometimes just through the story) the bigger my perspective becomes.
- My ability to become a more courageous and vulnerable leader is directly connected to the depth and breath of my perspective. The more I See the more I am able to Own.
For me, this upcoming season of life seems to be leaning into the singular idea of perspective. Increasing mine by understanding others.
Life is filled with a multitude of perspectives, many different from yours. To have yours heard be sure to passionately hear theirs first. As we enter the New Year I would encourage you to always look UP and to continue in your journey to always press ONWARD!