One of the most important—yet hardest—things is to keep the big picture front and center. It’s just so easy to get sucked into the immediate… respond to the stuff that screams for our attention… and to be overwhelmed by the flood of things that come our way throughout the day. When that happens, before you know it the big picture is a distant memory.
If we’re honest, we spend most of our waking hours focused on the here and now. But keeping a constant view of the big picture is vital, especially for leaders. Here’s why:
- The short term will always contain unexpected situations that can throw you off course and keep you from maintaining the right direction if you’re not looking at the horizon.
- Addressing the problems encountered in the short term with the long term in view will always lead to more accurate decisions.
- The folks around you need you to make sense of the stuff of today, which you can only do when you keep tomorrow in mind.
- It’s easy to get discouraged when facing challenges if they’re viewed in isolation rather than with the bigger picture in mind.
- Vision and direction—the things that motivate people—are the stuff of the bigger picture not the stuff of the day to day.
So where are your eyes today? Are they cast down, focused just on the little picture of today… or do they have the horizon in view, keeping the bigger picture in sight?
Rick Duhnam, founder and CEO of Dunham + Company, is a 34-year veteran in direct response marketing and fundraising, organizational management, and media ministry development for nonprofit organizations.