Why Leaders Should Prioritize Big Picture Thinking

Jerrund Wilkerson Executive Coaching: Big Picture ThinkingAs you may know, my recent blog posts have referenced the three major components of leadership: crafting a vision, aligning your efforts around that vision, and bringing that vision to fruition with execution. Under each of these steps are six subsets of leadership, which can ultimately transition ineffective leaders into prepared and supportive figures to guide their teams toward greater success. The second subset of “Crafting a Vision” is “Prioritizing the Big Picture.” Big Picture Thinking serves to get out of the weeds of intricate project details and instead set your gaze on a broader perspective. 

These 18 total subsets are what we’ll be diving into over the next few weeks.

Let’s start by defining big picture thinking and then discuss how visionaries can (and should) approach problems with this practice.

What is Big Picture Thinking?

Big picture thinking  requires the leader to zoom his or her focus out to see the broader, overall vision of the company, service, or product. Tangible examples of this level of thinking include your mission and value statements. Although being detail-oriented is essential during project execution, it can become your worst enemy in the vision-crafting stage. In essence, big picture thinking gives leaders a birds-eye-view on where the team is headed and a clear vision of the most critical goals. 

Approach Goals from a Broader Angle

Effective leaders excel at prioritizing the big picture due to their knack for developing a broader vision with ease. This is where the term “visionary” comes into play. 

Although the details are critical, the leader should keep their focus broad to manage things from a higher level. When the leader gets caught up in the specifics and day-to-day particulars, there’s no one left to steer the ship and make sure everyone is staying on course. 

Adopting Traits of Big Picture Thinking

There are a few actionable steps that you can take today to align your habits with the big picture strategy. 

Identify Your Habits

Firstly, try to identify those restrictive habits which tend to limit your broader thinking potential. Maybe you get caught up correcting intricate project details, rather than delegating these tasks to other senior team members you trust so you can focus on fine-tuning final projects and managing from a more hands-off perspective. There’s a time and place for managing details, of course, but it’s easy to get pulled into the weeds of micromanaging, which robs leaders of time for big-picture thinking.

Set Time Aside for Vision-Casting

Secondly, attempt to see things from a visionary lens – in other words, try diving into “big picture questions” that ask about large, unformed ideas rather than specific project details. Treat this time with as much priority as your other tasks and projects. For many effective leaders, this looks like setting aside a block of time on their calendar each week or each month to vision-cast and identify potential roadblocks on the path to their goals. It’s easy to push this time aside to focus on the projects at hand, but neglecting this process is a sure-fire way to find your team off-course down the road. 

Share Your Vision With The Team

Lastly, implement big picture thinking into your business decisions to maintain clarity among your team. Be open and transparent about the vision you have created for the business so your team can get on board and know what they are working toward. This unified vision will improve collaboration and build trust in you as their leader.

Are you struggling to identify the big picture for your business or team? 

Contact me today for a free consultation to see if you are a good fit for executive leadership coaching.

About Dr. Wilkerson, PD, MBA, PCC.

Open Leadership with Jerrund Wilkerson

Do you want to increase your impact? Do you want to increase profits under your leadership? Do you want to develop and use your abilities to the fullest to better connect with and lead others? Executive Leadership Coaching covers these bases. Dr. Jerrund Wilkerson, PD, MBA, PCC, has more than 30 years of successful executive leadership coaching in the United States and internationally.

As a licensed pharmacist, he is particularly passionate about helping develop effective leaders in the healthcare community. Dr. Wilkerson has coached and trained thousands of managers and leaders. He is a certified coach and member of the John Maxwell Leadership Team.