The family moved quickly across the Boston Common. Our hotel was on the other side and today this beautiful park was nothing more than a shortcut. When we walk together, I either blaze a trail ahead or I fall back with eyes wide open.
On this day, I walked slowly and fell behind as I looked left, right, up and down. I was searching for the perfect image. History and a great city surrounded me. I walked with camera in hand searching for a great photo.
I grew up with a love of photography. Even today when writing has surpassed photography as my art form, I still love photography. For me both writing and photography are about seeing and capturing light. Not sure if that means much to you, but it means everything to me.
So that day on The Boston Common, while falling further behind my family, I thought of words to match the light and composition seen through my camera lens. Words turned to phrases and the idea grew. Alas, a topic to write on and share with you.
Leaders can learn much from carrying a camera and viewing their world of work and enterprise with a photographer’s eye.
So what can a camera teach us as leaders?
- Know your tools and process. There is no “auto” setting in life and we should avoid the auto features on our cameras as well. Learn the details of your process. Become an expert.
- Where is your focus? Depending on the camera settings, the depth of field will be shallow or deep. Too often a leader uses a shallow depth of field. There are times when a deeper depth of field is best.
- Zoom in or zoom out. We love the zoom lens and usually zoom in tight on our subject. Yet, many times a wide-angle view is best. Too many leaders get stuck zooming in on a subject. Try a wide view with more information available. It may tell a better, more complete story.
- We are always moving. How challenging for us to capture a moment in time and admire it. A photographer’s eye gives us these moments. No physical camera necessary.
- Art is everywhere. We need only look for it and see it. Go for a walk down the hallway outside your office. Art is there ready for you to discover it.
- Who is the subject? We live in the age of the “Selfie” photo. Indeed, too many leaders want to be the focal point of the photo. Reach out and capture that great moment of a teammate at the peak of performance. Be a Servant Leader and stand behind the camera.
- Perspective is important. How are you viewing the subject at hand? Are you always standing in same position? Squat down, stand taller, walk around to the other side. View your subject from different angles. The perfect shot is there for you to discover.
- There is beauty in the ordinary. A great photo of a seemingly ordinary subject can reveal that beauty. As a leader look for beauty in the ordinary surrounding you. It will lead to great things.