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March, 2013

Do you suffer from myopia? 

When I went shopping for glasses the other day, I realized how relevant the idea of "seeing" is to leadership.  


First off, when I wrote my book a few years back, one of the questions I asked people about leadership was "who in your life has inspired you to be the best you can be?"   Interestingly when people answered that question, they talked about being inspired by people who "saw" them for who they were.  


People in all walks of life and professions, at home and as contributors within organizations, want to be seen.  Being seen for the efforts you put forth is a powerful thing.  


But just as our eyes fail us at times, so does our ability to see others and situations appropriately.  


My most recent work continues to show me this first hand.  


Companies, industries and leaders can often be incredibly myopic. As a result they fail to see people, situations and opportunities that may be looming just outside of their line of sight.  


Clinically and technically myopia is defined as nearsightedness or best described when an  image that one sees when looking at a distant object is out of focus, but in focus when looking at a close object. 


Myopia in business and in life is present when you are only open to the ideas and people who are in line with your thoughts and perspectives.  There is a prevalence of "group think" or consensus like-mindedness.  So much so, that ideas, people and approaches that fall just outside of this can be easily dismissed and discounted.  


For effective leadership to take place and for people to feel "seen" leaders need a better set of glasses that allows them to be less myopic.   


The road to losing your myopia starts with the recognition of how you may have gotten myopic in the first place.  The antidote becomes clear in the process.    


1.  Comfort: Our need to find comfort in the like mindedness of others can keep us from finding the challenges to jolt us out of myopia.  


Antidote:  Find those who challenge your thinking and approach even if it isn't comfortable to do so.


2.   Judgement:  Our need to prove we are right withholds our ability to learn new perspectives and approaches.


Antidote:  Keep an open mind and be curious.  Would you rather be right or get what you want through more effective leadership?


3.  Acceptance:  Our need to be accepted can cause us to add to a myopic culture.  


Antidote:  Constructive conflict can challenge status quo and create better wins.  


Even though I realize that my physical eyes just seem to worsen with time (and age) my leadership eyes are improving every day...and so can yours. 


I hope you are inspired to look for ways to "see" better and become less myopic.     




Laura Lopez is an award-winning author of The Connected and Committed Leader.  She is a leadership and branding expert who has been featured on the Today Show, Latina Voices Smart Talk, Living Smart and Fox News


In addition, her accomplishments have been highlighted in several business periodicals including  Personal Excellence, The Long Beach Business Journal, The Houston Chronicle, Latina Magazine, and Central Valley Business Times. Her articles on management and leadership are regularly seen in Leadership Excellence. 

Laura can be contacted via her Web site at:


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All the best,
Laura Lopez
Laura Lopez & Company
(713) 868-5025
cell (713) 828-8829