The Big Picture

It is so easy to slip into a producer mode of head down, isolated activity during the holiday season. We panic (or is it just me?) over all the items that need to get done by December 25. With all the gifts to buy, dinners to attend, and parties to host, we can get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that we loose sight of the big picture.

For our family, the big picture of Christmas is being together to celebrate its purpose: the birth of Jesus Christ. Whenever I get bogged down in the day-to-day activities associated with the holidays, I adjust my focus towards the big picture. This helps me forge ahead with a better feel for the purpose of the season.

Business is no different. Look at all the activities and items we have to get done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Sometimes our head down, isolated activity can put us in a state of panic. We find ourselves lost among all the “stuff.” It’s then that we need to look up and direct our focus toward the big picture. What are all your activities supporting? What is the purpose or the cause you or your company is seeking? Keeping our eyes on the big picture makes our day-to-day efforts so much more enjoyable.

This “big picture” mentality is what sustained me early on in my sales career. During that career I made a lot of face-to-face cold calls on a daily basis. At first I dreaded making these daily calls! I made them simply because they were part of the process for the business and they had to be done. Call after call would come and go, and my motivation for doing them would also come and go. At first my focus was on the effort of making the sales call and not on the impact of our big picture.

We were in the staffing industry, and our big picture was to challenge the status quo and to place more people in jobs than any other office in our family of 500 offices. We wanted to be No. 1, and to do that we had to turn our focus toward the big picture of putting over 1,200 people to work every week. As you might imagine, every sales call I made brought us closer and closer to finding more paychecks for more people in need of jobs.

I soon realized that sales calls = impacting others. I consistently reminded myself of the why behind my activity, and my activity became a partner to that big picture instead of a dreaded daily task.

What’s your big picture as an individual, as a family, or as a business? How do you illustrate it in your mind so you can refer to it as needed?


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  • Annie says:

    Thanks for this post. I often find myself always focused on when I will finally finish a project so it’s not “hanging over my head” instead of enjoying the process and the rewards. I’m definitely going to work with this big picture focus in mind for 2011.