By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help you enhance your decision-making process.
I felt like I was a bobble head. First shaking my head yes. Then No. Then finding myself shaking my head “yes” and” no” at the same time.
You know the feeling when you’re lobbied on all sides to approve a proposal or change a company policy or whatever decision-of-the-minute you are trying to handle right now.
Whenever my bobble head gets shaking way too much– as I wrestle with so many competing points of view– I look up on my office wall to a framed poster of Paul Cezanne’s masterpiece Still Life with Fruit Basket.
No I’m not hungry. Just starved. Starved for a fresh point of view, something that gets me out of my dilemma from choosing one point of view over the other.
Why does everything have to be either/or? Why can’t it be both? That’s what Paul Cezanne asked when he faced the canvass. The Father of Modern Art innovated dual points of view in the same painting.
Take a good look at the basket and the ginger jar in Cezanne’s Still Life with Fruit Basket. Viewed from above the basket and the ginger jar look like they are facing forward. But viewed from the front, the basket and the ginger jar are seen as if they are flat on the table. One painting two views.
Every time I take a fresh look at Cezanne’s Still Life with Fruit Basket, I remind myself that as leaders we have to not only consider all points of view but converge those varying points of view where it makes the most sense.
Then your bobble head will stop shaking and you can face your problem with two faces, much like Janus, the mythological Roman god who had one head facing forward and another head facing backward.
Janus looked both ways— always. His two-faced function allowed him to simultaneously combine the wisdom of the past with a vision of the future. That’s what leaders do. That’s what artist do. And that’s what the art of leadership is all about: converging multiple points of view.
Appreciate the perspective of talented artists to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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