I 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) Awareness. 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”.

Author's Bio: 

Susan S. Freeman, MBA, ACC, NCC
Executive Success Strategist
Author and Speaker
Founder, Step Up Leader http://www.stepupleader.com

Susan Freeman is author of the new book, “Step Up Now: 21 Powerful Principles for People Who Influence Others,” and the Founder of Step Up Leader. She is an experienced and respected Executive Success Strategist whose passion is helping entrepreneurial leaders go from “stuck” to “unstuck.” She has created a unique system that helps people access their emotional intelligence so they can lead powerfully and authentically. Susan has helped clients in diverse industries and roles obtain passion, clarity, and exceptional results.

She received her B.A. in Psychology from Wellesley College and her M.B.A. in Marketing from Columbia University in New York. She brings to her clients more than 25 years of strategic marketing, non-profit, and retained executive search experience in London and New York. She received her coach training and certification from The Newfield Network. Susan is an accredited coach with the International Coach Federation, as well as an MSP-certified business facilitator.

Susan is a native of Kansas City and resides in Tampa, FL. She is an active member of The Athena Society and a Leadership Tampa Alumna. Committed to education, Susan has served on several educational boards at the secondary and university level. Her global passion is developing young women entrepreneurial leaders in Rwanda, where she is currently involved with The Akilah Institute, a school that empowers young women with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to become leaders.