Hello, my name is Wes, and I wear corrective lenses.
One of the most disheartening things when it comes to my vision weakness is watching as people with perfect eyesight (let’s call them “snobs”) try on my glasses and inevitably say “wow, you’re blind!”
I was told a while back that my astigmatism combined with my strong prescription meant contacts were not an option. Thankfully, there have been some advancements, and as of last week I have a pair of contacts. But the process was not a simple one.
My eye doctor told me we basically had two options. He could modify my prescription just a little bit and try a cheaper route, or they could custom order me a pair that should work great. I opted for the cheaper route to start, and the result was lacking.
When I tried on the first pair, I slowly began to realize something. I could not focus out of my right eye. As I looked at the eye chart, I saw three outlines of each letter, regardless of the size. It was actually quite fascinating. I think I may have been able to see more clearly out of my uncorrected eye! So, we decided to try a different route.
Leadership is very similar. Sometimes you have to try something, only to realize the lens through which you’re looking only clouds the issues more.
I use the language of looking through situations with a leadership lens very often. I think so many times the issues we face and the struggles we encounter happen because we have the wrong lens in front of our eyes.
When we get the right leadership lens, we begin to see:
A challenge is an opportunity.
A mistake is a lesson learned.
A difficult person actually brings a lot to the table.
A subtraction is sometimes an addition, or vice versa.
How do you adjust your lenses? Read some leadership books (I don’t know how I made it in ministry almost 16 years before actually reading this one!). Find some leadership podcasts to listen to. Subscribe to Audible and start listening to audiobooks. Check with your local library to see if you have access to check out ebooks or audiobooks at no charge to you. Read leadership blogs (like 3QL or Carey Nieuwhof).
Whatever you do, be intentional about it. Growth rarely happens on accident. I never wake up with glasses on my head or contacts in my eye. I have to make the decision that I want to see clearly today. Do the same for your leadership.