What a Stupid Fly Taught Me About Smart Leadership

I like to think I can learn something from anything…but a fly?

What vital lesson about life and leadership could I POSSIBLY tease out of repeated failed attempts to smack an annoying insect?

I’m sitting at brown wooden table in an empty ice cream parlor, surrounded by teal metal chairs and the sound of carefully curated background music…and flies.

They taunt me, buzzing around and around until they land just close enough for me to try and hit them…and fail again and again.

Why do they keep escaping? What’s their secret?

It’s their vision.

As you may know, flies have “compound eyes”, described by Animals.Mom.Me this way:

“Compound eyes are made up of thousands of individual visual receptors, called ommatidia. Each ommatidium is a functioning eye in itself, and thousands of them together create a broad field of vision for the fly.”

You see, the fly isn’t smarter than I am. It’s not really even faster than I am. But it has wider vision, and that enables it to act quickly when circumstances change.

So what lesson did I learn about life and leadership? Simple.

When you cultivate WIDER vision, you enable WISER action.

Focused action is powerful and vital for success in business and life, but only if it’s the right action that will lead us to our goals.

What many people miss is that in order to narrow your focus well, you need to widen your vision first.

The more data you take in, the more perspectives you consider, and the greater attention you pay to getting clarity on the BIG picture, you more effective you can be in selecting those few action steps that will make the greatest difference.

Sure, you can also get trapped in the paralysis of analysis, so don’t let “widen your vision” become an excuse to never take action.

But, when you’re willing to do the work of expanding what you SEE, you’ll reap the reward of better results in what you DO.



Photo by Phillip Gonzales


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