Sunday, September 8, 2013

The East-setting Sun...

Close your eyes for five seconds and imagine yourself in Lebanon, Kansas; a seemingly obscure Midwestern town. Lebanon is quite special. This Kansas town holds the distinction for the being the "Geographic Center of the contiguous United States." Now, imagine yourself living in Lebanon and embarking toward the Pacific Coast. Which direction would you point your car, bike, bus, plane? If you said West, then you are correct. Now, let's say you change your mind and you instead want to take off for the more populated Eastern Seaboard, home of the Atlantic Coast. What Cardinal direction would you face for that sojourn? If you said East, then you are correct once more.

Now that we have established that the Pacific Ocean is in the West and the Atlantic Ocean is in the East, here is an additional geographical question: On which Ocean does the Sun set? If you said, the Pacific, then you are incorrect.

It is all a matter of perspective.

If you are still located in the United States, then the answer to the question: "On which Ocean does the Sun set?" would be, in fact, YES! However, the answer changes depending on one's perspective. If you are located in the midsection of the Central American country of Panama, then you would experience the sun rise over the Pacific Ocean and the setting of the sun over the Atlantic. The serpentine of the Panamanian Geography makes this possible.

Now, I understand fully that this way of introducing the "East-setting Sun" is quite controversial and debatable. However, the idea is fascinating and appropriate for the conversation pertaining to the importance of perspective in leadership.

Whether you are the leader of your family, a school, a faith-based organization, a business, a band, or a team; the matter of perspective is important. Whether you work with toddlers, with adults, with teenagers, or with the elderly, it is important to remember that each and every one of us comes into every situation wearing a different lens, with a perspective, with an interpretation, with an understanding of how the world works. Matters are not always cut and dry, black and white. There are times for the color grey/gray.

What do you think? Is it good for leaders to view the world around them as "black and white?" Or, is it better for leaders to view the world around in terms of "grey/gray?"

1 comment:

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