Seeing The Bigger Picture Doesn’t Tell You The Whole Story

By Glenn Stearns
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Seeing The Bigger Picture Doesn’t Tell You The Whole Story

An open letter from Glenn Stearns, CEO of Kind Lending

A lot of people claim they’re focused on the bigger picture. They aren’t into the little details.

They take a step back and see the whole vision.

This, according to them, is why they’re better CEOs. Better strategists. Better security guards. Better sous-chefs.

I’ll admit it. I'm one of those people. And I think it makes me a better boss. But seeing the bigger picture doesn’t tell you the whole story.

Let me explain.

Yes. Vision is essential when you’re charting the future of your enterprise. And, yes. It’s a quality that makes for better leaders — ones who are able to step back and go hands-off, leaving their team to do their best work.

But seeing the bigger picture means next to nothing if you don’t DO something about it!

There are hundreds of people who’ve reached out to me in the last year alone with the next big idea. They have a vision for a company that could topple Twitter, or a restaurant chain that could blow past Burger King. These people see the bigger picture. It’s clear. And some of them are even able to lay out a pretty comprehensive plan for how they could get there.

But why am I skeptical of far-reaching visions like these? You might be able to guess the answer.

Because they aren’t backed up with hard work. Because vision is NOTHING if you aren’t able to put in the steps towards making that vision a REALITY.

Let’s be honest. Most of the stuff you do in any given week is busy work. It’s the essential stuff that you NEED to do to keep the power on — to keep the trains running on time. But it’s exactly that busy work that’s taking your focus away from the real, meaty stuff. The stuff that will get you to your goals.

This is where the bigger picture comes in.

We’ve all got ambitions we want to satisfy. Big goals. Big dreams. Some of these are so grand and lofty they seem unattainable, but the wise man will tell you that that’s not true.

He’ll tell you that vision is a POWERFUL tool once you’re able to build DISCIPLINE around making steps towards it.

Yes, it’s understood that most of the work we do in a week doesn’t move the needle. But if you’re able to carve out one or two hours (even 30 minutes!) of uninterrupted ‘big-picture time’ every day, you’ll be able to work on the stuff that will actually CHANGE your base-line situation and bring you closer to those lofty goals.

And then? Those goals arrive a hell of a lot faster than you ever could have imagined.

We’re all busy. I understand that. I am too. But no one ever made a significant change to their career or life without busting their ass for it.

But there’s one more piece to this puzzle.

Spinning your wheels only works if you’re moving forward. So here’s the plan…

I want you to carve out that big-picture time for yourself. I want you to start making gains on your goals. But then I want you to take ANOTHER step back at the end of the day and get real with yourself. How? By asking the following question:

Did the work I just completed actually make a difference — or was I just staying busy?

Don’t confuse effort with results, my friends. I promise you, if you work smart and you work hard and you carve out that time to move the needle every day, your life will never be the same again.

So step back. See the bigger picture with me…

And let’s get to work.

Signing off,