Tuesday, October 16, 2012

On Top Of The World

“I know the whole world is watching, and I wish the whole world could see what I see. Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you really are, I'm going home now.” (Felix Baumgartner)

I'm an adventurer at heart and couldn't help being impressed and inspired by the world record breaking jump by Felix Baumgartner.  He did something that no other human being has ever done and viewed the world from a perspective that few have done before him.  Standing on the edge of his suspended jumping platform from the edge of space, Felix captured a vision of the earth that encapsulates two significant truths about leadership.

1. Leaders See Further Than Others
Effective leadership requires leaders to have an elevated view of their surroundings to help navigate the people they lead towards the fulfilment of their organisational vision.  This elevated view enables the leader to keep the vision clear amidst the reality of their core business, to anticipate barriers or blockages ahead of the vision, and to identify new opportunities to advance the vision. 

2. Leaders See Themselves In Perspective
Leaders need to be careful that an elevated view of their surrounds doesn't lead to an elevated view of self.  The higher the vantage point, the more we are right-sized to see ourselves as only one part of a complex organism contributing to the function of the whole.  A spirit of humility is manifested by leaders who see themselves in perspective to those they lead and their leadership context.

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