The View From 30,000 Feet

Leadership influence rises from our ability to see through different lenses and assume a variety of perspectives.  When incorporated, both provide a certain depth and breadth to our leadership, and enable compassion and empathy to take hold.  For relationships to take root and flourish…

Interesting how looking at the world from 30,000 feet above can give us an entirely different perspective to the very same world in which we live, work, and connect in each day.

I am finally settling in for the final leg of my journey back home.  A journey that began earlier this week as a fifty-minute flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco that turned into a four-hour event, via Las Vegas.  I am facing a return schedule that is not much better as I weave my way back to Los Angeles from San Francisco through a layover in Phoenix.  Not the most direct of routes on either trip.   But it is the reality we face these days.  Travel in our modern society has changed and is often marred with a myriad of issues and obstacles…whether that includes arriving at the airport in a timely manner, obtaining parking, or facing long ticket lines and intensive security checks, it can be frustrating and stressful proposition.  Often setting many a traveler off to their destination with a rough and rocky take off.

As we take off, I have an opportunity to lean back and allow the hectic rush of the morning to slowly subside.  Time to gather myself and reflect over the events of the past few days.

Since I am not a frequent traveler, sitting in a plane 30,000 feet above the hectic demands of our daily family and professional lives can provide a new and different set of lenses and perspectives to this journey of life.  Time to reflect on what has brought me to this point and to consider (or reconsider) where it all might be going.  Reflecting on the many facets of life, from the spiritual, to family, work, goals that have been achieved, those in progress, and others that may still be in a holding pattern or possibly left sitting on the runway. Whether it is the journey of life or the one that morning that placed me in this tight and narrow plane seat, taking time to reflect on these various life journey’s provide invaluable lessons and learnings to enhance our travels en route to our destination.

These myriads of lessons and learnings not only improve our ability to traverse the path of life…but, just as importantly, fortify our attitudes and approach to the journey.

And the message from 30,000 feet – the leadership learnings via this trip – stand out loud and clear.  Our demeanor, our approach, and our attitude, make all the difference in the world.  Whether you are facing a stressful travel schedule or leading people through times of difficult change – your approach and your attitude will determine not only the your ease of take-off, but the overall journey towards your destination.

Acknowledging that leadership and life are not easy or straightforward serves as the first step towards the journey.  Life and leadership are messy, they will always be fraught with trials and tribulations.  It is just a fact we must face.  How you approach these obstacles that come between you and your destination determines your effectiveness and influence as a leader.

Life and leadership affords us very few direct routes.  There will be lay overs, holding patterns, missed flights, cancelled flights, lost baggage, delays, mechanical issues, and a plethora of other obstacles that can take us off-course if we allow them.  Being prepared for these, having the right mindset will determine our life and leadership journey.

Choosing your mindset before you set off often serves as the difference in any journey.


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