WHY YOU SHOULD RECEIVE THE WISDOM OF BIG-PICTURE THINKING - How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

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Intuitively, you probably recognize big-picture thinking as beneficial. Few people want to be closed-minded. No one sets out to be that way. But just in case you’re not completely convinced, consider several specific reasons why you should make an effort to become a better big-picture thinker:

1. Big-Picture Thinking Allows You to Lead

You can find many big-picture thinkers who aren’t leaders, but you will find few leaders who are not big-picture thinkers. Leaders must be able to do many important things for their people:

  •  See the vision before their people do. They also see more of it. This allows them to…
  • Size up situations, taking into account many variables. Leaders who see the big picture discern possibilities as well as problems to form a foundation to build the vision. Once leaders have done that, they can…
  • Sketch a picture of where the team is going, including any potential challenges or obstacles. The goal of leaders shouldn’t be merely to make their people feel good but to help them be good and accomplish their dream. The vision, shown accurately, will allow leaders to… 
  • Show how the future connects with the past to make the journey more meaningful. When leaders recognize this need for connection and bridge it, then they can…
  • Seize the moment when the timing is right. In leadership, when to move is as important as what you do. As Winston Churchill said, “There comes a special moment in everyone’s life, a moment for which that person was born.… When he seizes it… it is his finest hour.”
Whether building roads, planning a trip, or moving in leadership, big-picture thinking allows you to enjoy more success. People who are constantly looking at the whole picture have the best chance of succeeding in any endeavor.

2. Big-Picture Thinking Keeps You on Target 

Thomas Fuller, the chaplain to Charles II of England, observed, “He that is everywhere is nowhere.” To get things done, you need to focus. However, to get the right things done, you also need to consider the big picture. Only by putting your daily activities in the context of the big picture will you be able to stay on target. As Alvin Toffler says, “You’ve got to think about ‘big things while you’re doing small things so that all the small things go in the right direction.”

3. Big-Picture Thinking Allows You to See What Others See

One of the most important skills you can develop in human relations is the ability to see things from the other person’s point of view. It’s one of the keys to working with clients, satisfying customers, maintaining a marriage, rearing children, helping those who are less fortunate, etc. All human interactions are enhanced by the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes. How? Look beyond yourself, your own interests, and your own world. When you work to consider an issue from every possible angle, examine it in the light of another’s history, discover the interests and concerns of others, and try to set aside your own agenda, you begin to see what others see. And that is a powerful thing.

4. Big-Picture Thinking Promotes Teamwork

If you participate in any kind of team activity, then you know how important it is that team members see the whole picture, not just their own part. Anytime a person doesn’t know his work fits with that of his teammates, then the whole team is in trouble. The better the grasp team members have of the big picture, the greater their potential to work together as a team.

5. Big-Picture Thinking Keeps You from Being Caught Up in the Mundane

Let’s face it: some aspects of everyday life are absolutely necessary but thoroughly uninteresting. Big picture thinkers don’t let the grind get to them, because they don’t lose sight of the all-important overview. They know that the person who forgets the ultimate is a slave to the immediate.
6. Big-Picture Thinking Helps You to Chart Uncharted Territory

6. Big-Picture Thinking Helps You to Chart Uncharted Territory 

Have you ever heard the expression, “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”? That phrase undoubtedly was coined by someone who had trouble seeing the big picture. The world was built by people who “crossed bridges” in their minds long before anyone else did. The only way to break new ground or move into uncharted territory is to look beyond the immediate and see the big picture.