In the world of entrepreneurship, you’ll often hear people talk about the ‘big picture’. Usually, they’ll be telling you that they see it. But do they really see it? If so, what is it they are seeing, and how do you know when you are seeing it? Ask these questions and you might get a blank stare.
Or you might get a vague explanation like, “Well, it’s like you’re in a forest, surrounded by trees. So you’re lost. Then you climb to a top of a tree, and you can see the path you need to take because you can see everything all at once. How it fits together”.
While that’s not a bad description of seeing the big picture, it doesn’t really tell you much about how to do it. It’s more of a description than an explanation. At Justin Cobb Leadership Academy, we’re more interested in teaching our people things they can use in their daily life.
So how do you actually go through the process of examining the big picture?
The first step is setting aside some time to think. You need to actively decide that you’re going to engage in some big picture thinking. Then do it. It’s not something that will just happen while you’re having your coffee.
Then you need to ask yourself some questions.
- What is my goal? You can’t get to where you want to go without a destination.
- What are the specific single activities that I do on a daily basis?
- How do those specific single activities fit into my goal?
- If they don’t, do I need to be doing them?
- Are there any specific single activities that I could be doing instead that would bring me closer to my goal?
Now that you’ve asked yourself those questions, and hopefully found some answers, you might have a clearer picture of your situation from a larger perspective. Otherwise known as a ‘big picture’. Once you have that, it’s time to create some actionable first steps to do something practical with that picture.