Perspective is power (part 2)

Welcome to the second part of our two part #Leader5aDay blog about developing health perspective across your team culture.   If you missed part one, here it is Perspective is power – Leader 5 a Day (

So, we talked about starting with recognising the gifts and talents we still have within ourselves and our teams, helping concerns about the current and future world be seen in the light of hope; communicated through our vision.  One school I worked with recently has reframed their vision using the language of building resilient mindsets and attitudes as the ‘superpower’ to still aim for the goals we had set for pupils; a readiness for the next stages of their lives. 

Similarly, Van Gogh’s painting, ‘The Café Terrace at Night’ shows us we can see the same pictures with different perspectives depending on what our minds are filled with at the time.  Like the painter, we can help draw our observers’ attention by spreading the light and communicating it visually towards the direction we want them to see.  

Building on from last month with John C. Maxwell’s 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork consider the following practical steps in drawing light towards the vision you now have.

[4] Law of the Big Picture

  • Ask your staff in teams to draw images (or collate pictures if they can’t draw) that build a picture of the goals you are aiming to achieve this term.  Do their images reflect what you set out to achieve?   Have they got and bought into the perspective you thought you had laid out?   Agree a set of drawings/images that truly reflect the goals you had laid out so that you create that shared understanding to keep revisiting in a visual way.  
    • Consider using a photograph of pupils that represent a cross section of your school community and discuss how achieving the goals you have laid out will impact them.   For example, I once shared a goal around a staff re-structure in a SEND specialist setting by placing their photo on the board and helping staff visualise with post-it-notes how many significant adults impacted on that child’s life each week.  We counted 26 different adults.  This helped me achieve commitment from staff to alter the way we deployed staff lesson by lesson.   What might your key student and visual be to help staff buy into the heart behind your goals?  Use it to bring your staff out of the dark shadows and sit at the table with you.

[5] Law of the Compass

  • Link the above visual exercise to a set of moral values that justify putting time, planning and mental energy into.   Teams will work their socks off when they can see the moral purpose behind the goals you are trying to achieve.  Where there is moral vision, people become disciplined in their efforts.  In the absence of such vision, the people cast off their boundaries and lose heart rapidly.
    • Link your strategy to building on what has been achieved and learned from past experiences, particularly the last 2 years.   This helps staff that fear change to see that their previous ways of working have not been discredited, simply we need to build on from there to help look to the future.
    • Have effective 1-1 conversations with your key team players to help them refocus their compass on the next steps, the part of the journey we can visualise between now and the Easter break.   Model for them how to do this to help them do the same for the rest of the staff team.  Get feedback and problem solve together the few that still seem to be willing to hide in the shadows of the painting. 

For more encouragement on achieving a staff wide lamplit perspective, consider reading more of Maxwell’s book or get in touch for your own one to one with Team ADL.   Remember, #TMOS (find your True Measures Of Success for yourself and your teams this Spring term). 

Till next month,



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