Is Your Lack of Perspective Harming Your Account Performance?

By | August 26, 2014
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PerspectiveThere’s a silent killer stalking your agency. It chokes off the culture you’ve built up, suffocates results, and is difficult to detect until it’s too late.

It’s called a lack of perspective. And it has a profoundly negative effect on account and agency performance if left unaddressed.

Why Does Perspective Matter?

What do we mean by perspective? The word can mean a lot of different things. It might include gratitude for having food and shelter, when so many people don’t. It could mean keeping your cool over a petty argument in an important relationship. Or it might simply be opting for positive comments rather than negative ones—knowing that the latter do more harm than good, no matter how good they feel.

At the agency level, perspective means something different, but carries the same basic logic as the above examples: It’s the ability to frame stress, tasks, obstacles and opportunities in proper relation to the responsibilities, goals and mission of both yourself and the agency.

Why is that important? Because when you fail to do so, you risk becoming a source of stress, negativity and toxicity to your team and culture. It’s easy to contract this disease without even noticing, and even easier to spread it. Most of us have had it at one time or another in our professional and personal lives.

In short, when we lose sight of the bigger picture, we magnify problems, project stress, erode our credibility and reduce productivity. You may suffer from a lack of perspective if you exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Hair on fire. When everything is important, nothing is. That results in maximum stress and minimal results.
  • Chicken Little syndrome. The world is always ending and the sky is always falling, no matter the problem’s actual magnitude.
  • Excessive use of the words “can’t” and “won’t.” Victims often fail to see how their attitude toward a problem is just as (if not more) important than the problem itself.
  • External blame at the cost of internal improvement. It’s common to blame outside sources instead of identifying what went wrong and what you can do to improve the outcome next time.
  • Me first, you second. Human beings all act with a degree of self-interest. The afflicted, however, only frame agency goals and tasks in their own terms. It’s continually about their issues and what others should do for them. Serving the team and clients goes out the window.

Do any of these sound familiar? They’re all caused when we miss the forest for the trees.

The good news is that while a lack of perspective is a bad disease to contract, it has several cures—and these cures are also effective preventative measures from contracting it again.

How to Gain or Regain Perspective

1. Manage the Stress

Stress is the nastiest cause of lost perspective. Stress has been called the “health epidemic of the 21st century,” and that’s not far off the mark. Aside from seriously impacting health and wellness, it destroys agency performance and your own credibility.

When everything is important, it’s easy for others to tell that you don’t have it together. When you don’t prioritize, your time disappears and you become even more stressed. It’s a brutal cycle, and the only way out is internal. You have to train your stress response like a muscle; you can’t wait for things to get better or less stressful.

Get started taking action with these resources:

2. Remember the Mission

Losing sight of why you do what you do is another way to lack perspective. It makes it easy to feel slighted, unappreciated or downright written off by prospective business, current clients and even coworkers.

These feelings aren’t great, and sometimes there’s even validity to them. They must be subverted, however, or they’ll fester. Try a quick mission reminder:

The agency’s mission is to move its clients’ marketing forward. Your team’s mission is to deliver exceptional client work to that end. Your mission is to drive agency and team success by executing daily.

Your feelings matter, but they can’t compromise the mission. Get out of a rut with a dose of inspiration, a conversation with a confidant, or a quick priority change to perform a task that excites you. Your inner inspiration engine is just that—an engine. And you need to jump-start it once in awhile.

Try these resources:

3. Gratitude

Remember when your mom told you to clean your plate because kids in less fortunate areas of the world had nothing to eat? Mom liked to guilt trip, but she had a point. Gratitude goes a long way.

Instead of guilt tripping ourselves, however, we need to simply exercise a little—because gratitude is a muscle. Work it out by listing what you’re grateful for at your agency, among your coworkers and in your job, etc. It’s a rock-solid way to regain perspective.

And you don’t need to put on rose-colored glasses. There’s no denying you’ve got real stresses, pain points and problems across your agency and accounts. But we have a habit of solely looking at them instead of mixing in some good. Try it and see what happens.

Hint: You’ll start reframing to see the bigger picture.

Get started with this post:

How do you keep and regain perspective in your career? We would love to hear your tips in the comments below.

Image Source: m01229