Leaders must cultivate the seamless ability to mix forward-vision thinking, tactical execution, and self-awareness—INSEAD. These three perspectives form the basis of organizational leadership, and each perspective has its intended purpose when communicated effectively. To illustrate their differences, one useful framework is to envision the perspectives as levels—perspectives at 50,000 feet, at 50 feet, and at 5 feet.
- Forward-vision thinking, or perspective at 50,000 feet. Leaders communicating at this level are delivering the big picture. They consider macro and large scale impacts such as technology disruption, market dynamics, and global economics to the organization and the associated risks and opportunities they bring to the organization.
- Tactical execution, or perspective at 50 feet. Leaders communication at this level are planning, implementing, and executing what is needed to meet the organization’s immediate goals. They work with staff at the operational level and interact with their networks, inside and outside their organization.
- Self-awareness, or perspective at 5 feet. Leaders communicating at this level are communicating about themselves. They introspect for areas of self development, are aware of the emotional aspects of leadership, and lead others using their charisma or by example.
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Knowing this, it is critical for leaders to be capable of switching between the levels of perspective when the situation demands it and not address every situation like a hammer sees only nails. For example, get stuck at 5 feet for too long and risk micro-managing your staff to the point of silent resentment.