Step back and look at the bigger picture

We often get sucked into the details for our day-to-day life that we get lost. Stepping back and looking at the bigger picture is a truly helpful exercise. Big picture thinking is a common trait among successful leaders. Getting stuck, holding on too much on the details and refusing to see the bigger picture is a very common behavior.

I had the privilege the work with a few great leaders both in my corporate and consulting life. These people are always on a very fast career or business path. They have the ability to climb to 10,000 feet for a helicopter view of events and situations. Once they have a good grasp of the big picture, they also have the ability to deep dive to the process level.

The core of big picture thinking is learning and experience. They are ‘learning animals’. They do not merely go through life. They ‘learn’ their way through life. They experience it. They learn from the lowest to the highest ranking employees. It does not matter to them what the learning source is. They simply seek knowledge. They are also proactively learning as they go. They are not afraid of looking silly when asking questions. You cannot connect the dots of the bigger picture if you don’t have an idea where the dots are.

They are also courageous enough to take the lead or make tough decisions despite the uncertainty. They can only soak enough data points and knowledge. They come to a point that they have to take a decision or action from what they know.

They are also courageous enough to challenge the status quo. What may have worked five years ago may not necessarily be the best today. The answer “this has been the way we have been doing it for the last few years” irritates them.

They are curios enough to go outside the normal boundaries. They will seek what other areas their decisions will impact rather than whats obvious. They ask questions like “Who else will get affected by this decision? What other departments will be involved other than what is mentioned?”

Do you want a more successful career? Start practicing “big picture” thinking. It will bring you closer to your ‘big dreams’ and goals.