You’ve got to see the big picture as a leader – it may be the most important thing you bring to those you lead. The solar system is giving us a perfect example today.
Today is the Winter Solstice for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s an astronomical tipping point. At 12:47pm Eastern time this afternoon the sun’s arc reached its lowest point in our sky, appeared to stop, and started moving higher and higher – as it will for the next six months. This is the shortest day of the year; from now til June the days keep getting longer. This is the big picture.
Today is also the first day of winter. You can’t erase months of longer and longer nights in one day. So while our days will start getting longer tomorrow, the next few months will still be very cold! Regardless of the big picture, this is the reality we’ll deal with for weeks.
We see the same thing in our lives. You plant the seed, but have to wait for the flower. You turn on the hot water, but it takes a while to warm up. The numbers tell us the economy is recovering, but our people aren’t feeling it yet. If you understand the bigger picture, you find the courage to stay the course.
Your job as a leader is to remind others of the big picture and to fan their hope into courage. It may not seem like things are improving, but if you’ve set the conditions for success, then have faith – and wait. In a world full of instant gratification it’s good to remember that some things are worth waiting for. Just make sure you’re sharing your perspective with those around you – especially as the weather gets colder!