Stepping Outside of the Pressure to See

As business leaders we will face issues that we do not know how to forge. They will seem like a raging torrent of a river, that dare we cross it will surely take our legs from under us. Yet, we have no choice but forward.

We can respond in fear, insecurity, anger, hopelessness, baseless logic or a number of other insufficient ways. Lifting your head above the situation—out of the weeds, as I like to say—is a key and necessary step to accurately see, evaluate and respond. Yet with the torrent in sight, knowing how to access that higher view or where to turn for help can seem daunting.

Here are a couple of practical tips.

Draw a map of your situation.

This is especially helpful for visually minded people. It takes a little of time but when you can stand back and look at the over all picture in an organized or fluid way often times a new perspective, associations, or new insights emerge.

You may consider writing the details onto sticky notes that you can post and re-post, then placing on a board in an organized way, and stand back to look at the connections and the overall. This is great for understanding timelines or capturing complex issues with moving parts.


Consider advice to a friend.

If it weren’t you in the driver’s seat but a colleague looking for perspective what would you tell them? Disconnect from the first-person stress, the mental or emotional rollercoaster, and thoughtfully consider what you would say to someone else in your situation. How would you encourage them? What are the hard things you would tell them?


Ask yourself the hard questions.

What are the questions that you are hiding from? Is it the question of downsizing, firing an employee, or outsourcing? Or, perhaps the question is of where your leadership has been lacking and thus your people are responding accordingly? Whatever your dreaded question might be ask yourself and face it with honesty.


Another solution may be business consulting or coaching. One of the many benefits of business coaching is gaining that outside perspective from a business-minded professional who is not motivated by self-gain from the influence and advice they offer to you. The process will require of you honesty, communication, time and investment. Considering the consequences of not getting the support will help to give perspective if it’s worth it.