Accurately Seeing the Image and Reality of Our Situation

Reputation Specialist Essays
2 min readMar 22, 2021
Les Brown

“You can’t see the picture when you’re in the frame.”

Les Brown

Or as also communicated, “It is difficult to see the picture when you are inside of the frame.”

In difficulty or crisis — personal or organizational — we can certainly suffer from “vision” problems of what occurred that we should have seen coming or what is still happening that we are still not wisely responding to correct. That vision problem can take the form of acting nearsighted and farsighted or have healthy “vision” one way and be woefully deficient in another.

It is no surprise that we made mistakes and egregious errors in thinking, judgment, decision-making and actions, creating unwanted issues, small and significant, not only for others but ourselves.

“No bueno, right?”

What can we do then to lessen the odds of consequences or punishment?

We can’t see everything up close because we’re too close, we have blind spots, biases, we might have low self-awareness or character issues and we could be too narrowly focused or distracted: a lot of variables.

That’s why it’s critically important to bring into our orbit people who will be respectfully, compassionately honest and blunt, and therefore trustworthy, and who will communicate to us, with confidence, what we are not “seeing” and taking into account that we absolutely should seriously “see,” learn and consider.

If we want to be wise, we have to be willing to listen patiently, with humility and poise to learn what we could or should do, need to do, stop doing or not even consider doing.

In addition, in our thinking we can choose to measure our judgment and ideas for decisions by asking ourselves, “what would failed judgment and decision-making look like and do right now?” Then it’s useful to seriously think about doing the opposite.

We can also take into account both the micro and macro of what we plan to do, and consider the consequences to others, short and long term.

Risk management is not always a skill and strength we exhibit, as our thinking, judgment, decisions and actions reveal. A lot of mistakes and errors can be prevented if we realize the natural and too-common risks and we take the steps mentioned above to conduct ourselves more thoughtfully, ethically and compassionately.

This understanding and the wisdom to implement it are strong recommendations. Making it a reliable skill and habit makes this a powerful asset of behavior and builds and protects valuable reputation.

Michael Toebe is a specialist who helps individuals and organizations with further building, protecting, restoring or reconstructing reputation. He is the founder of,, and and author of “Your Reputation Signature: What It Is, Why It Matters and How to Protect, Restore and Reconstruct It,” available on Amazon.



Reputation Specialist Essays

Michael Toebe is the founder and specialist at Reputation Quality, a consultancy, advisory, coaching and communications services practice.