How Often Are You Leading From 30,000 Feet?

Susan S Freeman Blog

Leading from 30,000 feetI am writing this week’s tips and tools from 30,000 feet.  Literally!  I find that I can often achieve inspiration and speed while in an airplane.  From up above the clouds the landscape looks entirely different than when I am earthbound.  I notice my perspective affords me a feeling of timelessness.  I am in a cocoon; I see the elements yet remain detached.  From here I can access a state of flow; free from daily distractions of life and lists.

30,000 feet offers leaders an invaluable perspective.  Why?  Because a leader must have the ability to remove herself from reacting.   Reactions do not reflect our highest thinking, vision, or intuition.  Reactions come from our past experiences.  The brain recalls a memory of an event that had similar emotional stimuli to the current situation.  I often refer to this as the “trigger.”

Leading from the 30,000 foot perspective means you are leading from the present moment.

You are connected to the vastness of the planet in an entirely different experience than usual.    In this state, you have the ability to consciously access your innate wisdom; the so-called “higher intelligences.”   Time stops.  You get a feeling, an instinct, a sense, a word.  You know how to be and what to say.

This is possible at 30,000 feet.

How do earthbound leaders obtain the 30,000 foot perspective? 

The most direct and effective means to change the mind’s reactive patterns is through your breath.  In just a few minutes, breath can be the gateway to the “witness” point of view. Witness is how you are at your 30,000 foot view.  It is where you can remove yourself from the drama of the moment.  You allow what is to be exactly as it is; right now.

Three steps to the 30,000 foot perspective:

  1. Leading from 30,000 feetAwareness.

    Learn the signs of when you need it.  Pay attention to your body.  Are you tense, is your voice getting loud, are you getting annoyed, irritated, or even angry?  These are signs of needing the 30,000 foot view.

  2. Belly breathe.

    Simply slow your breathing down.  Even if you can’t sit down and close your eyes.  Place attention on your limbs and move your attention throughout your body as you scan it.  Breathe slowly in through the nose while pulling the breath up and through your abdomen and finally chest cavity.  After the first few breaths lengthen the exhalation to be longer than the inhalation.  Continue until the thoughts fade away

  3. Observe.

What looks different?  What can you now see that you couldn’t see before?  What can you now say that you wouldn’t have been able to say before?

A client this week reported using the 30,000 foot view in a challenging meeting with a colleague.  His perspective shifted entirely.  The solution he saw was constructive.  The conversation was productive.

I invite you to try this technique in the week ahead and share your 30,000 foot story here.

For more ideas on this and other ways to engage your Natural Leader,  pick up a copy of “Step Up Now:  21 Powerful Principles for People Who Influence Others”.

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