A few days ago I decided to go and have my eyes checked. When the technician began her questions, she started with “how is your vision”? I immediately thought that I would be funny and change the focus of the conversation from my eyes to the topic of leadership. I told her that I considered myself a visionary and that as a leader and I am able to see into the future.

She responded by telling me that she was referring to me being able to see objects clearly, both near and far. I decided to stop trying to be funny and allow her to do her job. After all, she might decide to poke me in my eye. When I left the appointment, I continued to think about her questions and how they went along with leadership and vision.

I know that one of the core topics that leadership books and seminars tend to focus on is vision, however, most of the time the focus is on futuristic vision. My time with my vision technician got me to think about how true leadership must both near and far sighted.

One of the instruments used to see long distances is binoculars. Imagine if you had to go through your day only looking through a set of binoculars? I have tried to walk around just for a short time doing this and I ended up tripping on the obvious things right in front of me.

In the same way, imagine if you had to walk around only looking through a magnifying glass. You might be able to inspect those things right up close, however, you might miss the truck that is speeding right at you.

I think that a leaders vision must be able to adjust the focus to see both near and far. We must be able to see what is right in front of us, what is coming around the next corner, and also what might be around the block.

Many times, we as leaders try and spend way too much time focusing on the vision for the future and we fail to see those things right in front of us that will destroy our team.

This week’s experiment is to have your vision checked. Are you near or far sighted?