My perspective changed when I took a drink right from the milk carton. It was bad. It was really bad. It was awful! (In the interest of journalistic accuracy, it was really a bottle, but carton sounds better)
I learned something that day. I learned that it’s important to check the date on the carton before you take a drink…because there are few things worse than sour milk.
That’s really true in more ways than one. It’s also true when you’re talking about perspective or point-of-view. If your perspective is out of date…it can be a really bad experience. You might not spit it out…but you’ll want to.
How does perspective apply to me and you? It can make the difference between a win and a loss and it needs to be checked frequently. Here’s an example:
“Healthy small groups grow and birth.”
Ever said that? Do you believe that? Ever seen it happen? How often? How many times out of 10? Did the baby live? Did the mother live? How often? How many times out of 10? How many times in the last year?
Don’t get me wrong…I’m in favor of groups growing and I’m in favor of groups spinning off leaders. I’m only checking the freshness date on your perspective. Why? I’m pretty sure if you were tracking the gestation period along with the mortality rate, you’d conclude that an asterisk is required by the statement above.
Here’s another one.
“The optimal environment for life-change is a small group.”
Ever said that? Do you believe that? Ever taken a look at your group system and tried to quantify the actual life-change happening? Ever done anything to try and adjust the life-change quotient of your small group system? Or is your environmental thermostat on auto-pilot?
Again…I’m right there with you. I believe that small groups can provide the optimal environment for life-change. I’ve just added a caveat. Very few group leaders know what they need to know and do what they need to do to optimize the environmental thermostat.
It’s a perspective thing. As the point person in my system, I need to be evaluating the environment all the time. And you do too. Alan Kay (the computer scientist) said that “perspective is worth 80 IQ points.” Let’s just say, in what we’re doing…in the life-change business…those are some really big IQ points. It pays to be serious about the freshness of our perspective.
Need some perspective adjustment? Three articles come to mind: