I want to get better at perspective taking. A year ago I was employed as a senior executive of a large public company and my perspective was about to change. The board wanted to sell the company and I remember sitting a few weeks before with a team of people that unknowing to them were soon to have the gift of time. If I had taken perspective much earlier that event would have been different, I'm certain of it.
Within weeks of the event above I was contacted by a young entrepreneur. Max Lock was looking for “A logistics Guru” (Max - a Thiel Fellow, one of the most interestingly intelligent people I have met is now my friend and co-worker). I didn’t realize at that time my new career was starting. I was going to become a startup entrepreneur. My perspective taking needed improvement.
I pride myself on being detail oriented. I like to know what is going on, dig into it deep, understand the world, and be able to help myself and my team succeed. I realized a few months into being in a startup that my detailed focus is both going to be an asset and a hindrance. I needed to improve my skill of perspective taking.
Perspective-taking is the process by which an individual views a situation from another's point-of-view. My perspective of my role needed to come from another point of view in order to identify the skills I need to improve or to gain.
I swim almost daily, about 10 minutes into a swim this past week I was listening to this David Bowie song from 1971:
“Changes” by David Bowie
I still don't know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
And every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test
I realized that the answer resides in how I look at myself. I need to face me and see how others see me. I need to take the test. What I now do is start each day asking myself, how do I perceive myself if I look from the perspective of how others might see me?
This year I plan on continuing to improve my skill of perspective taking, I am finding this perhaps the most valuable skill I can have.
Thank you to David Bowie for his artistry and insight.
Ron Berger - COO at Fleet