The View from “Below and Above”

Monday, April 9, 2018


Every now and then we hear that old expression, “Viewing things from thirty thousand feet.” But what does that really mean?

Here’s a different perspective: Imagine you’re looking at one square foot of your backyard. You see the grass, some insects, maybe a weed or two. Now, take one square inch below the surface, and magnify that ten times. As you look into the soil beneath, you witness the nematodes, earthworms, nutrients, etc.--life you couldn’t see on the surface. Now reduce that inch ten times down, and magnify what you see again! You see micro-organisms, minerals, liquid particles, etc. Again, you view another totally different world. A world of active life that you couldn’t see on the surface with the naked eye. Fascinating isn’t it?

Now go back to where you started…hover a thousand feet above your square foot of backyard. The square foot is hard to imagine, but now you see your home, yard, some of the neighborhood, etc. The grass, shrubs, and backyard is just part of the kaleidoscope of color. But now go to five miles above that square foot of grass...which is long gone. But at this height you can see the community you live in: Traffic, roads, etc., totally different view from up there. Your perspective is now totally different.

Imagine now, you’re flying to the Moon...move many miles above the Earth...and as you pull away from it, Earth looks entirely different. The beautiful blue of the oceans, the tan of the deserts, etc. show briefly. At some point, the earth is simply a beautiful blue gem...a dot in the blackness of space. And at that moment, you realize that your perspective of who and what you are, the relativity of size, space, etc., has a whole new meaning. No longer could you view the world through an “established” lens, and the simple concept of “two, three dimension” becomes ........“many dimensions.”

Maybe as Owners, Leaders, Managers, we often view what we do in a fixed dimension lens--when understanding the details that lie way below the surface and way above means taking a more “Global” view. This is my personal view and opinion. You can’t fixate on the details as being BMP (Best Management Practice) any more than just feeling good, looking at “The Big Picture.” More than ever, I’m learning that both are vital, and the interaction between both is key to success. When was the last time you did an exercise with the above perspective??

Al E. Bavry, CEO, Kimal Lumber & Hardware 4/9/2018

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