Karlin Sloan, author of “UnFear”, often writes about leadership skills. She recently wrote: “Many of us believe that our attitude shapes our destiny …. What we focus on becomes our reality. And if we as leaders are tired, stressed, and uninspired, that focus can be detrimental to the entire organization. Remember that the key to focusing on the right thing is beginning with the right question. Instead of “How can I manage another day of this?” Start asking “What can I gain from today? How can I hold onto my Appreciative Eye?
What is the appreciative eye you ask? It is the perspective of valuing, of awe and inspiration. When we visit a museum we often look at a set of paintings for their beauty, for their meaning, or for the value that they can bring us, in a different way than we might look at say, our blank computer screen on a Sunday morning.”
David L. Cooperrider explains the “Appreciative Eye” in the context of leadership: “It could be argued that all leadership is appreciative leadership. It’s the capacity to see the best in the world around us, in our colleagues, and in the groups we are trying to lead. It’s the capacity to see the most creative and improbable opportunities in the marketplace. It’s the capacity to see with an appreciative eye the true and the good, the better and the possible.”
In order to activate the appreciative eye, ask yourself the following questions:
1.) When have I been inspired/ excited/ amazed by my work? What are the details of that story? How did I feel physically and mentally? How was I impacted? What effect did I have on other people around me?
2.) What opportunities for inspiration are available to me today?