Small Things Small


I recently wrote a book called The Lens of Leadership. The book is all about having the right perspective, because how we view things has a profound effect on how we do things. Throughout the book, I address different topics and challenge readers to look through the correct lens when viewing various things, like the people in their lives, their perspective on profit, and how they measure progress. My desire is to challenge people to look at something in a new way or from a different angle.

I believe this is so important (that’s why I wrote a book about it), but in this discussion of perspective, one area we often miss is where we should place our focus and where we shouldn’t.

Corrie Ten Boom explained this in simple terms: “Child, you have to learn to see things in the right proportions. Learn to see great things great and small things small.”

When we think about our perspective on life and leadership, our particular views on a certain topic or strategy are not nearly as important as our ability to see things in the right proportion. Knowing and devoting time to tackling the things that matter most and resisting the temptation to dwell on the things that don’t makes us more productive, focused, and satisfied in our personal and professional lives.

I once witnessed a speaker give a powerful illustration about a healthy perspective of profit. At first, he held up two quarters directly in front of this eyes—that’s all he could see. He explained that this overwhelming view of money prevented him from seeing anything else. But he gradually pushed the quarters further away from his eyes. Finally, with his arms fully extended, he could still see the money, but he had a proper perspective of its importance. With that view, he could also see everything else. Money isn’t everything, and it’s also not completely insignificant either. Money is one of many things that require attention in our organizations and in our lives (The Lens of Leadership, 115).

Think about how this principle applies to other areas of your life.

At home, are you more focused on keeping a pristine house or on taking the time to sit and invest in your child?

At work, are you more focused on constantly pleasing people or on taking the time to lead your team to create and deliver the best product for your company?

In class, are you more focused on impressing your peers, or are you dedicating more time to learning the material necessary to jumpstart your career?

At your nonprofit, are you more focused on the minutiae of service project details, or are you giving more time to train volunteers to make fruitful connections with the people you’re serving?

The most effective leaders know where to spend their time and energy.

Misjudging the importance of tasks in your personal and professional life can lead you down a frustratingly unproductive path. So, look at what you’re doing right now, and figure out if there are small things you’re seeing as great or great things you’re seeing as small.

Put things in the proper perspective, and plan your days accordingly.

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Today, business means more than just mere products and services. Your organization needs to stand for something. Branding is what you tell the world; leadership is how you make it come true.

No one knows this dynamic better than Kevin Paul Scott.

Companies turn to Kevin for advice on how to up the meaning-quotient in their businesses, so that employees and customers alike champion the business as if it were their own.

Let Kevin come and teach your group about how to build a business and communicate corporate values in a way that resonates with consumers.

His speeches include:
• Building a Business with Meaning
• Leading When the Majority is Wrong
• In Changing Times, Hold to Unchanging Principles
• The War for Talent: Recruiting and Retaining Top Tier Talent
• Essential Exchanges: What You Have to Give Up to Go Up