On Wednesday night – Yes! A school night! – we headed to Seattle for some music. We love live music and go to Nashville and New Orleans for regular fixes, but there’s a dearth of it on the Eastside. Every time we go to Seattle, we sing out the same refrain: “When did that happen? When did that building get torn down? When did that one get put up? What the hell is that?”, etc. etc. That’s what happens when you live in a growing, morphing metropolitan area. If you’re not paying attention on a daily basis, you can be shocked by the change.
The same thing happens in a business when you’re not paying attention. Sometimes the daily act of just keeping a company moving is enough to make you myopic. You start to see only the latest problem, the last mess, the loudest complaint, and you pull away from awareness of the bigger picture.
How can you separate yourself from the day-to-day and get the 30,000-foot view that you need in order to remain aware? Maybe go to Nashville or New Orleans and drink and eat and listen to music. I’m only a little kidding about that. Sometimes trips can change your perspective. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on an airplane headed home from somewhere and have come up with great ideas or a clearer path. But it doesn’t have to be a trip out of town. Maybe just a day at a library or museum, or hiking or fishing. Doing some thing in some place where it’s nothing like work and you’re totally relaxed. That’s when your mind opens to a bigger view.
Although a Bloody Mary at 30,000 feet certainly doesn’t hurt …