The Power of Clarity and Perspective

View out an airplane windowI sat down, exhausted, after a week on the road.  Six-and-a-half days before, I had wrapped up a board meeting, gave a few last minute instructions, and ran home to pack my bags.  I had 30 minutes to pack before my wife and kids drove me to the airport.  Eighteen hours later, I landed in Rome.

It was a Friday afternoon and I would spend the next 48 hours in a series of meetings and squeezing in whatever spare time I had with my little sister who had come from Austria to meet me.  From Rome I would head to Romania where I would spend a day-and-a-half with each of 3Pillar’s Romanian delivery centers, one in Cluj, the other in Timisoara.

Needless to say, after two countries, three cities, a flurry of meetings, and non-stop running over a six-day period of time, I sank into my economy seat needing some time to think.

I get to do my best thinking in transit.  I actually find flying relaxing.  I’m able to process, back up, and see the big picture. Sometimes the frantic pace we live prevents us from gaining perspective.  On a plane, I gain perspective.

On this particular plane ride home I spent 10 hours thinking about nothing but what I do on a daily basis.  What is it that I do?  Am I doing the right things?  What am I doing that I shouldn’t be doing?  Am I spending the majority of my time on the most important things?

I started by processing what the job of a CEO is.  I jotted down notes about where I need to focus.  I rejiggered my calendar to ensure that I prioritize the most important aspects of my job.  I made deliberate decisions to delegate items that I did not need to worry about.  I debated the merits of certain initiatives I had been consumed by.

I found myself refreshed when the plane touched down.  I had clarity of purpose.  I understood what I needed to do.

Clarity is powerful.  With it, you know what needs to be done. Can you articulate, clearly, what your responsibilities are?  Can you define success in simple terms? Do you know what objective you are pursuing?

If you don’t have clarity of purpose, find a way to get away from the  frantic pace of life in order to gain a little perspective. It will both refresh you and make you more effective.