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Look up

Look – Look up

I live and work in Suffolk and one of the things that we spotted when we moved here is that we are not really on flightpaths for aeroplanes. We are, however, in an area where military helicopters do some training occasionally. Like all aircraft flying lower, you tend to look up when you see them. And when you do look up, you not only see the aircraft but you see a different perspective. You see the trees, the tops of houses and the sky. Look up and you gain a new perspective.

‘Look up’ is the fourth of our ‘Look’ series this month that can help us to review and plan effectively as we lead others when we face something new or tricky that we need to action.

  • Look back

  • Look ahead

  • Look right

  • Look up

Look up – gain perspective

When I take the dogs for a walk, I can spend time walking along looking at my feet or maybe where the dogs are and what they are up to. That kind of walk will be good for exercise and ensuring the dogs are cleaned up after themselves. However, I miss out on an important aspect of a walk in the countryside if I don’t look up. When I look up, I see bigger things the trees, the horizon and the beautiful scene, the sky in all its vastness. I gain perspective that I am a much smaller piece in nature and it can ground me. Taking time to look up from our situation or problem we are solving and looking wider afield at the issues and what is going on, it helps me to see the issue in the light of wider issues. It helps me sometimes to realise that it is not personal when I see others also working through the same issues. It helps me to see what world issues might be affecting my issue. It helps me to see potential need that I can address rather than just focus on my ‘ploppy’ issue.

Look up – take your eyes off the plop

Emerging Leaders , an amazing charity helping people across the world developing the motivation, mindsets, and skills to lead themselves and others to be change-makers, trains leaders in 7 leadership mindsets that can replace poor thinking. The first one of these is to ‘Lift up your Head’. This mindset is key when we are facing a challenge or things are tricky. You see, we tend to have our head down when things are tricky. We are focused on the issue and it can feel all consuming. If we are not careful it can feel like ‘everything is going wrong’ and life feels pretty ploppy. There is nothing wrong in being focused on the issue we need to solve, but it can become draining when we think that is all there is.

So, when we lift up our head, we can begin to look ahead and see what is coming. We can plan for what is coming and we can also see how the current issue will change or end. We can also look around and see who and what is around us to help us with the issue we are facing. Steve Miles, Director of Emerging Leaders explains more of this on the Emerging Leaders video.

Look up – see the beauty & opportunity

As I have mentioned in my blogs before, when we spend some time in thankfulness, our bodies release a hormone labelled DHEA and DHEAs. This hormone counteracts cortisol, the stress hormone. When we take the time to look up from the stressful issue we are facing, and spend some time reflecting on the beauty around us rather than the plop beneath us, we find ourselves replenishing ourselves. We also see things that are working both within and outside of our organisation. I often find that ideas and solutions for the ploppy challenges can be found in the things that are working in other contexts. For example, a teacher struggling with a behaviour of a child in a classroom can sometimes find ideas in spaces and times and relationships where behaviour is better. Where companies are struggling with a product sale, they can often find ideas and answers when they see and ask questions about the product lines that are working.

Piece it all together

If you have read all 4 of the blogs you will have a complete action that helps you solve situations well.

  • Look back – what have I done in the past that can help me here

  • Look ahead – map out scenarios and plan how to reduce worries and sabotage

  • Look right – know who is there to help you and keep looking to see what is happening

  • Look up – gain a perspective and see things around that can help

Now doesn’t that sound like a better way to plan ahead to bring helpful change.

Can we help you?

We hope this blog has been helpful and if you would like some more targeted support to explore how you to look more fully at a situation to gain better insight then Everyday Leader is here to help you. Our clients find their coaching empowering, as we help them gain a full perspective and find a way forward. If you have a challenge and you would like our support, then do get in contact with us. Give us a call on 01449 710438 or email if you would like us to help you explore this and empower you.


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