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Optics to See More Clearly

While you may think of optics as the study of light, it’s not completely what I’m referring to here, although it could apply.

No matter your profession, role or life outside of work, this is something to invest in, learn about and be sensitive to, like you would be to bright light.

I am sure you can recall many situations where optics are important and more than nice to have. In fact, of late, it could very well be a matter of life and death.

Here is what I mean; the other definition of optics is the way in which an event or course of action is perceived by the public. There are degrees of this going on every day, some in very significant ways like our acute health concerns of late or small examples each day, but whose ripple effect overtime goes from a small action to one of immeasurable impact.

A good friend relayed in her story to me that 10 years ago they were evaluating scholarship awards as part of the board and committee on which she sat. She was considering the big picture, not just one part of the landscape. The committee suggested a dollar amount to a designee of $800. My friend considered that the relatives have supported this cause and contributed meaningful donations over time and would likely respond to $1,000 to this granddaughter more positively. A little thing, $200 difference, the committee wouldn’t budge, was shortsighted and looked purely at this scholarship transaction, not the whole relationship or future opportunities.

So my friend wrote a personal check for the $200 and added it to the scholarship making an award for $1,000. Well, the family of this recipient couldn’t have been more appreciative knowing it was a larger amount than normal and a strong gesture to the student, as well as acknowledging the family.

Fast forward 10 years later, the grandfather of our student award winner just donated a mid five figure amount to the organization!

I like this example because it is simple, sensitive to the opportunity, with some vision toward the future and demonstrates some confidence and leadership to take a small risk, buck the system a bit and look outside the past practices. My friend also shared that she has never told this story to anyone before. How many such untold stories are happening every day.

Very good example of our eyes and emotional intelligence struggling to see more than our line of sight for what we assume the situation to be and make short sighted decisions, leaving money and the power of the human spirit by the wayside.

Look for these opportunities every day at work, at home with your family and friends.

Your 2020 vision will ensure that you see both near term and far out in time.


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