May I borrow your glasses?

by Rici van Schalkwyk | November 4, 2021

Have you ever watched a professional photographer at work?

They are continuously moving, taking the same shot from different angles. Shuffling left and right, crouching, balancing on tiptoes, stretching out on the ground. They change lenses and move forward and backwards. Why?

They need to experiment with perspective for that perfect photograph.

An experienced photographer knows that a slight change in perspective is what takes a photograph from great to exceptional. Moving your position changes your perspective.

The same is true in leadership and life. Different perspectives are crucial to grow from great to exceptional. Changing perspective requires movement and sometimes a change in lenses.

What is perspective?

Perspective is the way in which we see the world. In a sense it is the glasses we wear and is unique to each individual.

Our perspective is shaped by our values, strengths, culture and experiences; it is our point of view. Ultimately it forms the framework from which we make assumptions and decisions.

Perspective, unconsciously, becomes the filter we apply to what we see and thus our reality. But is my reality the only reality?

My friend asked for R1000 to assist someone in need. I give him R350, and you give him R650. Who has given more?

Will your response change if you had R1000 to start with and I had R400?

Whose reality is real?

Perspective Leadership

Is your own perspective your only reality?

Albert Einstein said that we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them.

Using the exact same input and process, the outcome will not change.

So, if we cannot change our problems or challenges, then we must change our thinking. And if we change the way we think and look at things, the challenges start to look different.

Just as photographers use different lenses and movement to get various perspectives, we need perspective leadership.

Moving position

Having the ability to understand and seek different perspectives is an invaluable skill.

To have a chance of capturing that exceptional photograph, you need continuous movement.

It starts with an awareness of your own perspective (point A) and the understanding that you need the different angles/perspectives to get a different outcome (point B).

Surround yourself with people of diverse perspectives, but with similar values. People that will disagree without fear of retaliation. They provide the different positions for continuous movement.

Having frequent one-on-one interactions with these people builds trust and understanding, creating a culture of sharing perspectives and collaborating.

The uniqueness of perspective complicates effective communication. The way in which we perceive the world guides our understanding and the way we explain it.

At wauperform we use CliftonStrengths Assessment from Gallup1 as the basis for our performance management process. The Gallup assessment provides the common language for effective communication in individual development and in a team context. Our process embeds frequent interactions that cultivates effective sharing of perspectives.

Changing lenses

Having different perspectives will not produce an exceptional photograph unless you are willing to change.

Photographers change various inputs in that search for the perfect photo. The change can be slight, like changing the colour; or bigger changes with different lenses to change the field of view.

Whether these changes simplify, give focus, or add depth, they result in the same thing, a different outcome.

Perspective is inherently changeable. It is constantly influenced by our current experiences and state of mind. This can create conflict and various disagreements in tense situations and difficult times. This is when we need to be very conscious of different perspectives.

Different perspectives can only add value and create growth, if you are willing to change. Gaining different perspectives only changes your filter if you understand and consider it. This requires movement or flexibility in thinking with your values remaining as the non-negotiable parameters.


If you are stuck in a problem or hit a plateau in growth, consider that you might be holding on too tightly to your own reality and need to explore new possible realities.

If you feel lost or feel distant from your goal, maybe now is the opportunity to view it differently and find new appreciation for its value.

Zig Ziglar said that attitude, not aptitude, determines altitude. I want to add to that. Perspective determines attitude. Attitude determines altitude.

Are you ready to be exceptional? We’d love to hear from you.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *