I was flying from St. Louis to Baltimore. I think the elevation was about 38,000 feet. As I looked out the window I could see what I thought was Interstate 70 below. I followed the interstate and wondered what intersections I was viewing. I’ve traveled that section so many times. But what was I seeing? Upcoming was a large metropolitan area. I studied the highways and surrounding major roads.
Could it be Effingham? How long had we been in the air? I couldn’t discern Interstate 57. It would have taken off to the south on the west side of Effingham. It would come in the east side of the city from the north. I couldn’t see it.
Maybe Indianapolis? But there was no outer belt around the city and there wasn’t an airport on the west side. What about Terre Haute? But where is the Wabash River? Was it there? Maybe I just couldn’t see it because its tree-lined. I looked for the mall that would be at an intersection on the southwest corner: nothing. Before long the city was behind me. I couldn’t study it any longer, but my mind continued to race, trying to figure out where we were.
Leaders see the view from 40,000 feet. As the saying goes: ‘They see the big picture’. They anticipate changes and problems that may occur. But leaders also need to be able to interpret and focus. They must be able to ‘zoom in’ and narrow the focus. Leaders must communicate the details as well as the big picture. Or they must identify someone who can help them do so.
Seeing the big picture and being able to communicate is so very important But so is being able to narrow it down into specific action.
Points to Ponder –
Are you better at seeing the big picture or at narrowing the focus? Who gets on your nerves more: the person who sees the big picture or the person who focuses on the details?
Have you attracted someone to your team who is able to augment your personal and professional shortcomings? Do you value that person and their abilities; and have you expressed your gratitude and appreciation?