In life, we tend to see what we are looking for. In other words, our attention is centered on the things that matter to us. A while back, our family purchased a certain model of a blue vehicle. Guess what we started seeing? The same kind of blue make and model vehicle! There weren’t more of these cars on the roads after we bought our car; we just started seeing them because we began looking for them.
But this principle doesn’t apply only to spotting cars on the road; it extends to how we perceive and lead in our daily lives. Leadership, in particular, benefits greatly from this perspective. If we take the time to know the people and the context in which we lead, we will notice things that would otherwise go overlooked.
Consider the example of Jesus, a leader who noticed people and things that others paid no attention to. He saw the woman at the well, Zacchaeus, the faith of a child, the wounded, and the needy. What set Jesus apart was his ability to notice the opportunity and the pain in every situation and respond out of unconditional love.
In your leadership journey, the key question to ask yourself is: What are you looking for today? Are you focused solely on the tasks at hand, or are you actively seeking to understand the people and the context in which you lead? By shifting your perspective and looking for opportunities to make a positive impact and address the needs of those you lead, you can become a more effective and empathetic leader.
The act of looking for something specific is an intentional practice. It requires mindfulness and a willingness to step out of your own world and into the shoes of others. It means setting aside preconceived notions and being open to the needs, desires, and aspirations of those around you. This small but profound shift in perspective can result in more compassionate and effective leadership.
So, as you navigate your leadership journey, remember that what you look for will shape your experiences and interactions. Just as our blue car led us to see more of its kind on the road, a leadership perspective centered on empathy, understanding, and a commitment to serve can open your eyes to opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those you lead. What are you looking for today in your leadership journey?