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Lead from on high! Seriously?

If you look at the trees too much, you’ll end up not seeing the forest – and that’s a pitfall any leader will want to avoid. When I feel like everything’s moving too fast, like I’m going to drop something, I tell myself, “Stop!”, breathe, take your helicopter up a bit higher. I try to get some height – with the aim of getting perspective, not vertigo!

As a leader, how do you take a step back?

Three articles and quotes caught my attention recently and I’d like to share them, along with some thoughts.

“You have to extract yourself from the daily grind to develop a vision”

The first quote that caught my attention was: “You have to extract yourself from the daily grind to develop a vision.” It was the word “extract” that caught my eye. For me that word evokes effort, the image of someone who is wrenching themselves out of a situation. It requires movement. And that’s exactly what it’s about. As a leader, if you want to provide direction, bring meaning, you have to be able to see the situation from different angles and develop a global vision.

“The hardest part of becoming a leader is knowing the right thing to do at the right time, and then not doing it!”

The second quote made me smile: “The hardest part of becoming a leader is knowing the right thing to do at the right time, and then not doing it.” Have you as a leader ever had the unpleasant impression that you spend every day putting out fires and feeling frustrated? This particular article describes VERSA, a process of leadership that includes five simple principles of leadership:

V for Vision

E for Expectations

R for Responsibility

S for Support

A for Accountability

This process of leadership invites us to question how we can move our teams towards knowing the right thing to do at the right time. When our teams are focused on the day-to-day, we, as leaders, can focus on the future with peace of mind! What a great way to engage our employees and gain perspective! 

“Blind allegiance to something that is flawed, no matter what the reason, keeps us going in circles.”

The last article is about the difficulty of keeping perspective when, as a leader, we are too invested in a situation. A famous phrase my mother used to repeat to me: “When you're the only one in step in the parade, ask yourself some questions!” Have you ever asked yourself: Why isn’t this working? Why do I feel like I’m living groundhog day? So, the following quote caught my attention: “Blind allegiance to something that is flawed, no matter what the reason, keeps us going in circles.” The key is to be aware of it. To listen to yourself. In the whirlwind of everyday life, noise can be disruptive, preventing us from taking a step back, keeping us from seeing the forest for the trees.

What about you? Ever lose your bearings? 

Natalie Hubert

Director and Senior Consultant
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