A friend of mine was recently telling me about her experience designing and building a lake home. “Everything was about maximizing our view of the water,” she said. “The placement of windows, the wall color… even the furniture and fixtures were very low-profile, to draw the eye out instead of in.” She explained that the artwork is deliberately sparse because they want the focus to be on the windows, not the walls.

Focus on the windows, not the walls. What a metaphor for life and business. We need to stop focusing on the walls in our lives and instead focus on the windows and what is on the other side of them. We need to restructure our lives (and our organizations) to direct our views toward opportunities, not to the barriers that prevent us from seeing those opportunities.

Here are a few ways to do that…

  1. Choose the right fixtures. Identifying the right people for your team is about more than their capabilities. It’s about how they fit with the culture of your organization. If you want to be known for customer service, hire employees who serve others outside of work, as a volunteer. These people are more likely to understand how to put the interests of customers ahead of their own. No matter how skilled they are, people who block the view suck energy and life out of an organization.
  2. Redirect attention. When you achieve success as an organization, share it with your team and celebrate together. Let every individual who contributed to that success know that their efforts were valuable, including those in the organization who aren’t on the front lines and who rarely get kudos; without many of them, your organization could not function. Then, direct that positive energy out the window, to the opportunities ahead of you as an organization.
  3. Don’t decorate the walls. Many of us have the tendency to dwell on our wounds and failures. We decorate them and make them a focal point. We re-live and re-tell the stories over and over. Stop decorating the walls and focus instead on what’s out the window. That’s where your future is.

Clifford A. Bailey
CEO, speaker, appreciator of good views

This entry was posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2012 at 5:45 am and is filed under Business Development, Effectiveness, Emotional Intelligence, S.H.A.P.E.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.