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Nothing beats a fresh perspective. (Except this with a cup of coffee… perhaps?)

Fourth in the series — “seeking different perspectives”*

I like the show Elementary – a modern day version of the classic Sherlock Homes. He is all about using deduction to solve a mystery or problem. One of the things he does when stuck is to look at the clues from a different perspective. Sometimes standing on his head, sometimes laying down. When asked, he simply states he is seeking a new angle to the problem.

The third trait that the McKinsey study found that successful leaders did well was “seeking different perspectives”. Like Sherlock, good problem solvers always strive to see their problems from different angles, coming at the issue at hand in a new way. The age old saying “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing expecting different results” rings true to successful leaders.

So what really makes “seeking different perspectives” a trait that separates good from great leaders”? I think it is the “seeking”. It did not say “try different perspectives”, “find different perspectives”, or even ” use different perspectives”. Nope, the word is “seek”.

The verb seek, according to the dictionary is to:
: search for (someone or something)
: try to find (someone or something)
: ask for (help, advice, etc.)
: try to get or achieve (something)

When you seek, you are actively engaging different people on you team. You are seeking input, maybe even if it is not a problem yet. Seeking perspective on current state, future concerns, or just seeking a different perspective on feedback.

While I do not recommend standing on your head, I do suggest finding different ways to change how you are processing the world around you. How can you drive improvement where you see none? Where can you eliminate waste, when from your perspective there is none? Seek.

“Seeking different perspectives” is partly engaging your team to see and drive improvements.

Be intentional


*Article|McKinsey Quarterly
Decoding leadership: What really matters
January 2015 | byClaudio Feser, Fernanda Mayol, and Ramesh Srinivasan