A few days ago on one of my other blogs I wrote an article on 10 Things To Be Happy. The last of those 10 things was to talk about "perspective." I did that on purpose because I tend to believe that you can have everything that you could ever want in your life, but without the proper perspective you still might not be happy.

via Flickr

This wasn't the first time I talked about the concept of perspective, though it was the first time on that blog. Over here I wrote an article titled Perspective Is Always Interesting, where I talked about how many people can look at the same thing and see it different, Trusting Leadership - A Blogging Perspective, where I inquired about the "trusting" nature of other leadership bloggers who decided to moderate comments instead of just trusting people that commented first, and Communications From A Cultural Perspective, where I talked about how people in different parts of the country and the world can look at certain words and phrases and have them not only mean different things but sound differently based on what they were taught.

As leaders, our hope is that we can guide a diverse group of people to work towards the goals we set for ourselves and our organizations. In my case, since I work independently, my goals are to help guide people towards achievement, no matter what field it happens to be.

To that end, it begs the question as to whether we're also trying to influence perspective, and how ethical it might be. One of my friends once wondered if this was all a type of manipulation, which she saw as a great evil. I've never considered it so nefarious, but I could understand her initial point.

Any time you're trying to sway someone else to your side for your purposes, it is a kind of manipulation. And yet, there's no other way around it if you hope to get as many people on the same page as possible.

I tend to view it as more of a team building concept than manipulation. I do so because the intentions aren't necessarily to benefit me personally. Sure, I might get a benefit out of it by having some recognize my leadership skills. But the ultimate goal of being a good leader is to get the team to act towards a common goal, and that can't be done if everyone is doing their own thing. It also can't be done if everyone has a different perspective on what the ultimate goals really are.

In my mind, purpose determines whether influencing perspective is fair or not. Trying to change the testimony of a witness to put someone in jail who doesn't deserve it is unethical. Trying to change the perspective of someone for the goals of the organization, which could benefit them as well by getting them more money and possibly promotions, is not only ethical but small business.

That's how I see it; what say you?