Learning how to see. It is actually the metaphorical language of learning how to think. And this skill is ever-important for folks who move into leadership positions to cultivate in new ways. There are some nuances in Learning how to see – as a LEADER.

In this 3-part blog, I will share three aspects of learning how to see for your consideration as you continue in your leadership journey, along with some tips on how to practice.

The third and last aspect is LEARNING HOW TO SEE THE FUTURE.

As leaders we must always be on the lookout for the potential – in our processes and in our people. Improvement opportunities are ALL AROUND US, if only we make time to look and listen. If you are practicing the first two aspects, seeing with intention, and zooming in and out, the opportunities will literally jump out at you.

Seeing the future and potential in your processes

Opportunities can be found numerous ways, but here are a few to consider:

  1. Evaluate your metrics. The gaps or shortfalls in your department’s performance point you toward areas for improvement. No gaps? Identify stretch goals, and then solve the problems preventing you from achieving those.
  2. Identify pain-points, inefficiencies, rework loops, defects, waiting times in your workflows. Find the bottlenecks in your process. Talk to your employees – they know where many of these are. What improvements can be made to work smarter, not harder?
  3. Involve the innovators and explorers on your team to identify “What if…?” type opportunities. How would we accomplish this goal if money was no object? Brainstorm! Think outside of the box.

Seeing the future and potential in your people

“It’s like we are all like acorns, each of us contain within us all the potential to be a magnificent oak tree. We need nourishment, encouragement and light to reach toward – but that “oaktreeness” is already within us.” That sentiment is presented in one of my favorite coaching books – John Whitmore’s Coaching for Performance. In it he says, “To get the best out of people, we have to believe the best is in there – but how do we know it is, how much is there and how do we get it out?”

Our work as managers, as leaders, is bringing out the best in people to achieve the goals and the vision of your organization. Opportunities can be found a few different ways:

  1. First, get to know your employees. What do they want to be when they grow up? What motivates them at work? What are their passions? What do they see as their strengths and areas for growth? Where do you potentially see them 3-5 years from now with the right support?
  2. Find opportunities for them to learn and develop the skills to get them on the path to achieve some of their goals. Technical and Leadership Development training opportunities abound! Check your local community college or technical school for offerings. Call Leader’s Imago!
  3. Connect your employee with a good mentor. A “good mentor” is someone who is has a desire to mentor, has relevant experience for the mentee, has worked through challenges similar to the mentee, is a good communicator (especially listening!), and has the time to work with the mentee.  

Learning how to see – as a LEADER – Seeing THE FUTURE. What possibilities might you uncover?