A Different View

He was embarking on a new journey. It would be a huge transition and a completely different culture and lifestyle. Everything he had become accustomed to was about to change. He felt excited,motivated and ready for the challenge. She did not. This leader was talking with me about his new position. Instead of laying out a first 30, 60, or 90-day plan for transition; he had something else on his mind. He said, "We have discussed this move at length and we both agree that this is what we should do. However, I realize that my wife sees this with different eyes than mine." He continued, "While she is supporting this opportunity, I realize that she is being asked to leave her life here for the unknown life ahead. While I feel excited and somewhat anxious, she feels anxious and somewhat excited. I want to do all I can to help her during our move and transition". 

As leaders, it is easy to forget how much our actions and responsibilities effect those around us. What seems like a great opportunity that fills us with excitement may bring anxiety and frustration to those within our circle of influence.  Putting job tasks, opportunities, responsibilities, requirements, demands, (you pick the description) before those we love or care about is a recipe for poor leadership and broken relationships. This doesn't mean that we should turn down opportunities. It does mean that we should consider others' feelings and opinions.

This insightful leader was more concerned about his wife's anxiousness than his own excitement. He took the time and energy to view the situation from her point of view instead of focusing on his own self-interests. He removed himself from the tasks at hand to concentrate on the bigger and more important task of caring for his wife. I suspect he will continue his journey as a successful leader and his organization will benefit from his strong leadership. 

Looking at one’s life through different lenses means slowing down long enough to consider others. Choose to take the time to see through the eyes of those around you and will make a difference.

- Larry