Choose Your Hat, Play Your Game

Choose your hat, play your game.

Guest Author: Judith Lerner

In last month’s newsletter we laid out definitions to get you thinking about and understanding the value of the Entrepreneurial, Managerial and Technician aspects within you. Recognizing those aspects or mindsets, in yourself, and developing your ability to distinguish one from the other, takes a willingness to bring a sharp clear knowing to your internal thought process. It takes what we’re calling Astute Vision.

It is important to realize that each of those characters or aspects, has a particular point of view. In other words, a way of looking at and seeing things, as well as a basic approach to thinking about and dealing with issues. It’s not that any of them are necessarily right or wrong, however what occurs as extremely relevant from one point of view is not the same for the others.

Their perceptions are different. And perception shapes reality.

So, how do you begin to expand your ability to recognize, and therefore intentionally choose, which aspect you are leading from? Sometimes we talk about this in terms of paying attention to which “hat” you are wearing. I have had clients who, taking the suggestion to heart both figuratively and literally, went out and got 3 hats that, for them, symbolized the Entrepreneur, the Manager, and the Technician.

Imagine yourself incorporating a kind of ritual into moving from one activity to another. “ With the removing of this hat and the donning of this one I am sending my Technician on a break and handing the wheel, so to speak, to my  Manager.”   Notice how your thoughts, actions and focus of attention will shift depending on which “hat” you are wearing.


Have you ever seen one of those Magic Eye books or images? They are pictures that, when you first look at them, appear to be normal two-dimensional, colorful renderings of, say, a field of flowers. But when you hold the page up to your nose and focus your eyes as if you are looking through the page, and slowly extend your arms while continuing to focus through (instead of at) the picture, a shift occurs.

Instead of the field of flowers, a three-dimensional image appears. Suddenly you are looking at a labyrinth or underwater sea scape! Surprisingly, as long as you hold on to that longer (looking through) view, you can actually move your eyes and follow the maze around the corners within the tall hedges, or peak behind the coral reef.

As with any optical illusion, until you learn the trick, you can only see one way.

Much of what I do as an EMyth Coach, is designed to challenge my client’s ability to see three-dimensionally, strengthening and expanding their Astute Vision.

In the context of beginning or continuing to move your business development work forward, there is a similar process of forcing your brain to see things differently. It begins with the acute awareness that the mindsets of the Technician, the Manager and the Entrepreneur operate in distinctly different dimensions.

If you try to analyze a problem from only one of these perspectives, you can easily end up paralyzed.

For example, let’s say you are thinking about the development of your financial management system. Which perspective would you say is required?

My intention here is to, in a manner of speaking, tickle your brain. I am inviting you to begin to exercise your ability to think astutely from multiple views and, in a sense, dimensions. The question again is, which mindset do you think will give you the most clarity?

While it is true that all three mindsets have a part to play, only one can effectively do the system development work.

Let’s consider the Entrepreneur aspect. As the “boss”, “owner”, “buck stops here one in charge,” you know that financial information is fundamental to making just about every decision relative to your business. When wearing the Entrepreneur hat, the most important thing is that you have it when you need it.  If you don’t have what you need when you want it, it may register that you know you need a financial system.  However, beyond “I need it.  I want it.” the loudest question in Entrepreneur’s mindset is “Where is it?!”

If you switch hats and take on the Technician’s view, chances are you may quickly find yourself flooded and meandering around in circles. While the Technician aspect would be most sensitive to the smallest parts needed, her nose is too close to the page. Attending to the details is her specialty, but it can also give her tunnel vision. All the bits and pieces are equally important and the closer she looks, the more detail there is to unravel.

In putting on the Manager hat, imagine that you are able to recognize and understand the Entrepreneurs need as well as decipher and organize the knowledge of the Technician. The perspective of the Manager is one of objectivity, curiosity, analytical focus, and patience. These skill sets give the Manager aspect the ability to investigate as well as create and follow through on a plan to design what is actually needed to produce the required results.

In the case of doing system development work, we want the Manager to take the lead.

Can you adjust or shift your perspective(as in the Magic Eye example) so the landscape of your business appears differently and you actually get an unexpected picture of the issue you think you are dealing with? If you can do that, you will likely be able to find your way to a more profound and results oriented answer.

Need some help developing your skills? Give us a call. We can help.

Synergistic Focus.