How to see Clearly Beyond Obvious Barriers

by Onyeka Nchege on October 16, 2017


Years ago, I was deep in conversation at lunch with a colleague, when she paused to comment on how dirty my glasses were. I was surprised, since I hadn’t yet noticed anything out of the ordinary. But, after I cleaned them and put them back on, I realized how much those small smudges had been affecting my ability to see clearly.

Although seemingly insignificant, this gentle reminder to wipe my view clean had a lasting effect on me. I realized my colleague was right – my glasses were dirty, but not just in the literal sense. I wasn’t seeing things as clearly as I could have been, and even worse, I hadn’t noticed how blurry my sight had become.

It’s moments like this that remind us to look at the world from a new and different view. Oftentimes, our perspective and outlook on the world can collect smudges when left uncleaned. Unless we’re vigilantly aware of our sight-lines, we can look at the world from an increasingly limited vantage point.

Clear vision is not just about keeping up with the latest industry trends or being aware of the next market disruptor. In order to imagine powerful new possibilities and ideas, we must first take a clear and discerning look at ourselves. By recognizing our own vulnerabilities and shortcomings with full transparency, we can think more carefully about what it is we might not be seeing.

Strong leaders need the humility to recognize when our own glasses are dirty and need to be wiped clean. After all, what may be blurred by our own vision may be crystal clear to the person next to us. #Perspective

This process of self-reflection isn’t just important for our decision-making, but it’s also critical to how we interact with the people around us. Our vision of the world is reflected in how we engage with other people and even in how we see ourselves. By being aware of our own blind spots and being diligent about wiping away the things that distort our vision, we can see those around us with a fresh pair of eyes – or in this case, glasses. It reminds us that everyone comes with their own vulnerabilities, burdens and unique history.

By taking the time to observe and consider different viewpoints, we expand our perspectives beyond our own. And while perfect vision may be 20/20, there’s no right or wrong way of viewing any problem, scenario or new idea. Like completing a jigsaw puzzle, we often need a different set of eyes to discover which piece fits where.

The day I realized my glasses were dirty has since transformed how I live my life in the years that followed. So much so, that I now carry a cloth in my pocket at all times (in fact I sent the image associated with this post to my friend to thank her for the feedback on my glasses which sparked the idea for this post). Now not only are my glasses smudge-free, but I also have a physical, conscious reminder to always reconsider my perspective and the views of those around me.

Take Action: when was the last time you wiped your view? Decide today to reconsider perspectives.

Leadership on the GO…..it’s O.N.



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As the driving force behind Interstate’s technology strategy, Onyeka Nchege brings more than 20 years of experience to lead the creation and implementation of new information systems and solutions for the enterprise. He believes leadership requires vision, curiosity, humility and a constant hunger for improvement—the same four components fueling his passion for information technology. Before joining Interstate in 2015, Onyeka led teams at Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, where he modernized technology practices and powered business processes for daily, on-the-street use. He is a graduate of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University and currently serves on the EVANTA Dallas CIO Governing Body. If Onyeka were not at Interstate, he’d find another way to combine his three biggest passions: his faith, helping others, and, of course, information technology. Because ultimately, as he puts it, “we can’t help everyone, but everyone can always help someone.”
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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Chermaine Forte October 16, 2017 at 11:05 am

‪Thanks for sharing Onyeka!! I’m always noticing smudges on my own glasses, but somehow my vision was still limited. Great insight!! ‬

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avatar Onyeka Nchege October 16, 2017 at 5:52 pm

Thanks! Totally understand. I am a work in progress as well. Now we know to wipe often to see clearly.

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avatar Brandon J Pierce October 17, 2017 at 7:32 pm

Great post.

It’s actually funny I had the same thing happen to me a while ago and I kid you not I carry around a pocket cloth at all times with me (going on a few months now). I make sure my view is clear as much as possible now.

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avatar Onyeka Nchege October 17, 2017 at 8:26 pm

Yessir!!! That’s awesome. Keep seeing clearly bro!

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avatar Kristen Hollis October 18, 2017 at 10:22 am

Onyeka,

What a great post and insight. I think one of the greatest struggles is learning to be aware and recognize when our vision becomes blurred. A few years back I had back pain constantly from an accident. It was subtle but it was there. I lived with it daily and years went by and I finally found a chiropractor who helped me. I took my first breath after an adjustment with no pain and what a world of difference! I have learned to recognize that pain when it creeps up and don’t let it go on so long. Perception is always a fascinating topic of discussion.

Kindly,
Kristen Hollis

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avatar Onyeka Nchege October 18, 2017 at 4:14 pm

Wow. That’s awesome Kristen. Thank you for sharing your experience and adding to the value of this post. Perception is key and a difference maker. Glad to hear you are pain free.

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