Microscope or Telescope?

By October 10, 2018Leadership

Using the right tools in your position

Recently I wrote a blog post inviting organizational leaders to “upgrade their telescopes.” (Want to Succeed in Business? Invest in a Good Telescope!) When leaders spend more time looking outside their companies at market trends and technological innovations, they can discover come up with truly visionary strategies.

Since the telescope article went live I have gotten a handful of messages asking, essentially, “What if my job isn’t to be strategic?” In other words, “What if no one is asking me to look through the metaphorical telescope?” Good question!

Each position within an organization requires a different field of vision. Success at an entry-level position often requires narrow vision, focused on a few key tasks–a vision more in need of a microscope. Whereas, an organizational leader requires a wide vision to search for data that will inform strategic objectives–the kind of vision that figuratively might require a telescope.

Generally speaking, as you move up the ladder in your organization, you will need to expand the scope of your vision.

In your upward journey, you will advance not only from task-oriented positions to strategy-oriented positions, but also from positions that require looking at parts of your company, to the company as a whole, to the landscape of your industry, and beyond.

Take a moment to think about where you fit in your organization’s hierarchy.

What type of vision is required of you at the moment? What type of vision is required of your current team leader? What type of vision will be required in the role you aspire to be in five years from now? Ten years?

Even if your current position requires a narrowly focused vision, how can you prepare yourself for a future position?

What is the scope of your aspirational vision?

If your current position requires you to use a microscope, how can you polish your binoculars in the meantime? If your current position calls for binoculars, how can you start building your telescope?

When you start looking at your organization and industry with aspirational vision, rather than the vision that is expected of you, new possibilities will open up. You will discover that when you are asked for feedback, your observations will flow naturally and, ultimately, put you at the front of the pack.

I hope this has helped those of you who reached out or who had questions. Even if you are not looking through the telescope yet, you can prepare for the day when you will be! We are always happy to reply to your comments and messages. Keep ’em coming!

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