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Perspective is everything. What some people see as an unmitigated disaster is an opportunity to others. Some people wallow in why-me misery, some people wait to follow someone else, and others lead. I’ve collected numerous stories, metaphors, and research over the decades showing that there is no “reality.” It’s all in how we frame life’s challenges and changes that are dumped on us.
In response to a June blog posting that was also included in the July issue of The Leader Letter, Jeff Johnson sent me this delightful example to add to my collection:
“As always, I appreciated reading your Leader Letter today. Your section titled “Choosing our Perspective: Invigorating or Disastrous Time to be Alive” resonated as our company goes through change, even though it is positive change and we are still growing.
One of the artifacts in my office of our time in Africa is all about choosing perspective. I have a dung beetle encased in hard plastic on my desk. Why? If a rhino drops 50 - 70 pounds of manure on you, most people would think it was the start of a bad day. The dung beetle, however, has a different perspective: ‘Cool, a new home!’ ‘Wow, a nest for my young!’ ‘A new food supply!’ And then they roll it up in a ball and take it home. Same crap — different perspective/attitude!”
Maybe I should get dung beetle encased in plastic to take along to my leading change workshops! If you’d like to read the original item Jeff referred to go to http://www.jimclemmer.com/newsl/july2009.html#1.