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Q. What the heck does “EagleMouse” mean?

The idea sparked from something one of my first clients said to me “way back when” (over 8 years ago!).

My business got started by accident — a story for another day — and I was doing virtual assistant work for her. As we worked together, she continued entrusting me with more and more high level work, in addition to the day-to-day and detail-oriented work I'd originally been hired for.

One day, she told me why. She said:

“You have a special knack for Eagle View and Mouse View.”

My client went on to say how much she valued that, because finding someone who held both Eagle and Mouse views together, simultaneously, was rare.

Until that moment, I never realized I had a “special knack.”

I thought everyone looked at things this way.

(Perfect example of how fresh eyes see something that our own eyes totally overlook, which winds up being incredibly valuable!)

So what is Eagle View?

Think of an eagle soaring in the sky, and the perspective it has on things. The eagle sees the lay of the land in a very big sense, from horizon to horizon, noting all the terrain in between.

The eagle sees “the big picture.”

Eagle View is also an ability to see the long-range consequences of various possibilities.

It’s like when you play chess. (I know, I'm mixing metaphors.) You have to see the options for the chess move immediately in front of you, but you also need to see the way all those options would play out, and how you could adapt to those scenarios. That’s part of seeing the big picture.

That’s Eagle View.

And what is Mouse View?

Now think about the perspective of a mouse. It’s seeing all the on-the-ground details. It’s noticing the tiny pieces that others are likely to miss. It observes the nooks and crannies that may harbor vital context to the overall space, but tend to be hidden in shadows, and require curious inspection.

The mouse sees the “detail perspective”.

Mouse View is also the skill for seeing an effective path from Point A to Point B with all present details accounted for.

The Eagle can see lots of possible paths to take from its soaring viewpoint, but the Mouse has a unique perspective for seeing hazards and shortcuts, blockades and throughpoints, not visible from the the “big picture” perspective.

If you're like most folks, you quickly identify with either the Eagle or the Mouse.

Most of my clients tell me, “Oh my gosh, I'm a total Eagle, and I always miss the Mouse stuff!” Or, vice versa: “I'm great at getting the details, but I have such a hard time seeing the Eagle view!”

Not sure whether you’ve got EagleView or MouseView?

Truth is, EagleView vs. MouseView isn’t binary; it’s a spectrum.

You might be waaaaay over on one side or the other, but you might be only slightly past the middle leaning toward one.

If you’re not sure whether you’ve got feathers or fur — metaphorically speaking (I’m assuming), here are a few general traits of each.

Traits of EagleView Business Owners

If you’re a business owner who falls more toward the EagleView side of the spectrum, you probably:

  • Generate many ideas for projects and products
  • Think of yourself as “creative” or “right-brained”
  • Know where you want to go, strategically, but planning out the step-by-step details feels overwhelming or even exhausting
  • Love starting things… don’t so much love finishing them
  • Hold the vision, goal or destination for a project or business, even when others get mired in busywork
  • See what’s happening in the big picture, but miss out on critical details along the way
  • Much prefer to talk about possible outcomes and hoped-for results than what feels like the tedium of daily processes

EagleView Business Owners

Traits of MouseView Business Owners

If you’re a business owners who’s more on the MouseView side of the spectrum, then you’re likely to:

  • Generate the action plan and to-do list for projects
  • Think of yourself as “logical” or “left-brained”
  • Enjoy mapping out the steps for accomplishing a project, but pulling “big audacious goals” out of thin air feels uncomfortable or even artificial
  • Have trouble getting something started from scratch, but once the outline’s there, you’re golden — you’ll make sure it’s completed
  • Ensure all the steps are followed and perils avoided, even when others lose their focus
  • Be aware of the details, but lose sight of the big picture the details are serving
  • Find more value in discussing action steps and plans than options and visions.

MouseView Business Owners

And then there’s the EagleMouse…

We the few, the furfeathered, the EagleMouse!

EagleMouse business owners hold traits of both simultaneously, making us a unique (if evolutionarily unlikely) species. We are apt to:

  • Have bullet point lists under each project idea with plan outlines, initial action steps, and helpful resources
  • Find satisfaction in creating results-oriented plans and systems that have direct impact on well-defined and clearly articulated goals
  • Catalyzes purposeful action and consistently evaluates it for effectiveness
  • Challenges assumptions of the vision and the details to ensure the big picture remains clear and purposeful, and the details remain effective and aligned with it
  • Motivated by maintaining holistic effectiveness and alignment between big picture and on-the-ground details, accomplished through ongoing evaluation, discussion, and adaptation

EagleMouse Hybrids

Eagle, Mouse, or EagleMouse: Which do you relate most closely to?

That’s not a rhetorical question: I’m curious! Send me an email, or let me know on Twitter. I’d love to know.