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What you think.
How you feel.
Thoughts, emotions, beliefs. They belong to you.
I’ve got my own. Mine don’t matter to you. But they could. Just not as much as yours.
It’s up to you to protect yours. It’s also up to you to expand yours. Grow yours. Maybe even correct yours. If you’re wrong.
But how will you know? How can any of us know we’re deluded? Or wrong?
Outside ourself perspectives. That’s how. Alternative perspectives help us consider our own. It’s why I’m such a fan of questions and operated businesses with a stated philosophy:
The quality of our questions determines the quality of our business.”
Problems arise when we’re unwilling to ask questions. Especially when we’re unwilling to ask questions of ourselves. Or to allow others to ask us.
I get that it’s not comfortable, but this isn’t about comfort. Or discomfort. No, it’s about growth, improvement, and transformation. You won’t experience any of those things for yourself, your leadership or your company unless you tolerate, even encourage questions.
Our growth, our improvement and our transformation will propel the same things in the businesses we lead. That’s just another reason why this is urgent and important work.
But it’s challenging…
Because our perspective – what we think and how we feel – drives everything. It drives our communication, our decision-making, our reactions and responses.
Listen, this isn’t about making sure our perspectives are perfect. There’s no such thing when it comes to how we see things and how we allow things to make us feel. They just are what they are. But that’s too simple. And too cowardly. It presupposes that we can’t do anything about them, which is colossally wrong. We can and must sometimes change our minds.
Think of a time you had an idea you were convinced would work. You tried it. Only to find out you were wrong. Maybe you made another run at trying it. And it still failed. So you changed your mind. Over time you saw more clearly how it wasn’t your best idea ever. When it first failed maybe you felt angry. Frustrated. Sad. Maybe the second and final failure provoked you to feel embarrassed, or stupid. Six months later you likely felt different. Maybe you didn’t think about it ever. And those feelings attached disappeared.
Welcome to the human race. Our brains are magnificent things. Capable of greatness, if we’ll work to harness them more.
Your perspective is based on life, experience, history, relationships and the sum total of you. Here’s where there’s value and your opportunity to grow. All the things have formed my perspective are different from yours. And we could talk with half a dozen additional business owners and quickly discover each of them has yet a different perspective.
I’m fairly certain we’d all find perspectives we share. The human experience can be different, but relatable. It’s why songs are written around common themes like love and loss. These are universal. The details are different though. Which is why the more we connect with others, the more we share our experiences with each other…the wiser we can become. It expands our viewpoint. Gives us a perspective we may not otherwise have. In short, it gets us out of our head and our view so we can grow great.
You need additional perspectives. Even if yours are great, wonderful and spot on. And they won’t always be. Which is why they need constant testing.
Do you use all your rearview mirrors when you drive? I do. And have ever since I was a kid. I don’t just look at the one attached to the windshield. I’m constantly glancing at the ones on the side of the car. Both sides. I do it to make sure I can see all four directions: ahead, behind, right side and left side. When you drive around a big city like Dallas/Ft. Worth, traffic can be daunting. One of my pet peeves are people willing to drive directly in your blind spot for miles. I’ve got those little round side mirrors to help avoid blind spots. They won’t do me a lick of good if I don’t look at them though.
Outside perspectives for you and your business are like my little round side mirrors. They just help you see things more clearly.
Do you want to surround yourself with other business owners willing to share their perspectives without judging yours? Can you see the value of sharing your perspective with other business owners who may not view things quite like you?
Then I invite you to check out The Peer Advantage by Bula Network. It’s a professional peer advisory group of just 7 small to medium-sized business owners who come together a couple of times each month online to help each other grow, improve and transform. There’s only one goal, to hit the trifecta of business building: to get new customers, to serve existing customers better and to avoid going crazy in the process. I want to help you grow great. I want your business to grow great. We can do this. Together.
Be well. Do good. Grow great!
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