Don’t get me wrong. Have you been asked to ‘see the big picture’ by your boss ?
If you have been asked to see the big picture, chances are, your boss has got a promotion recently. Once people are promoted to a position much beyond their caliber, they start asking the direct reports to ‘see the big picture’.
You might wonder, ‘Where has this big picture been so far ? if the picture is so big why didn’t I see it? Better, why didn’t my boss see it?’ There are no specific answers to these. ‘Big picture’ and similar such catch words are signals that the person uttering them ‘has arrived’.
‘Big picture’ literally means a picture that is big, conveys a whole story rather than piece meal stuff. The boss says ‘big picture’ because he has gone up in the hierarchy and is able to see the whole field while you are still not so advanced in your hierarchy that your vision stays with what your eyes see. And there is nothing much to see from where you are.
‘Big picture’ figuratively means the following :
- I am too high in the hierarchy that I can’t see smaller things. I can only see distant stuff as I have grown in the hierarchy and am concerned about the ‘long term vision’.
- I have gone higher in the ladder and hence cannot afford to look at smaller issues and concerns, You better look at those mundane stuff as you are still lower in the hierarchy.
- Understand that ‘I have arrived’ and better suck up to me.
Now, do you get the ‘big picture’ ?