Learning From a Different Place – Part 13
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

I am sure you have heard the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This is such a true statement. When we transitioned our quality manual during our ISO implementation at Selflock, we moved from a three-inch binder with more pages than I could count to an eight-page manual with 12 textual flowcharts. We took hundreds of pages and distilled them into 20 pages.

John Maxwell’s Law of the Picture simply says, “People Do What People See.” Ten years ago, I thought that I had the right perspective on this law, and perhaps I did, but only to a point. What I missed was the consistency of the vision. I think I modeled the behaviors I wanted to see in others, but the picture didn’t come alive around the vision. For this law, John Maxwell offers three ways to help make the picture come alive.

  • Mission Provides Purpose – This answers the “why” As a leader, am I living out the mission and modeling “the why behind the what.” My actions and my daily decisions must always be in line with the mission.
  • Vision Provides a Picture – This answers the “what” What is it that we are doing? Leaders must regularly reaffirm how what we are doing serves the mission and why we are here in the first place.
  • Strategy Provides the Plan – This final part lays out how we will get there.

Too often, leaders spend so much time writing and discussing the vision, mission, and plan that they forget to live it out in their daily interactions. Slogans, vision boards, and strategic planning sessions are wonderful tools, but if the leader doesn’t live those out in their daily life, the picture is dead. 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is through our eyes. The leader’s effective modeling of the mission, vision, and strategy makes the whole picture come alive. That’s The Law of the Picture. Please remember, followers are always watching what you do. What message is your life sending?

Next week, I’ll share more about The Law of Buy-In.