Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


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(Let me say right up front…this post has nothing to do with the operating system; for a nice riff on that, check out Gopal’s post.)

Yesterday I stood on top of a high mountain (about 7,500 ft.) and took the opportunity to look at the beautiful panorama. I could see more or less 30 miles in all directions. I saw valleys, mountains, lakes and rock formations; it was truly a beautiful sight to behold.

It made me stop and think about the difference between what you see when you’re in the valley vs. what you see when you’re on top of the mountain. In the valley you see things close up, you get the details of the things in your immediate surroundings. However, you may not see things that are close by because of the obstacles in the way. From the top of the mountain you see a broad view; the whole picture of everything around you. Nevertheless, you cannot see the details of the things that are going on in the valleys below.

Most often we spend our time with our heads down working in the “valley,” or in the details; this is natural. However, it’s a good idea to occasionally climb to the “top of the mountain” to get the big picture; to take a broader look at what’s going on around us. In other words, take a look at how we’re spending our time and make sure it aligns with the long-term goals we’ve set. Small, timely adjustments will pay dividends in the long run.

One thought on “Vistas

  1. Michael, I agree. Peaking up over the top is increasingly difficult because we are measured on execution, not our vision.

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