Maintaining perspective and making safe landings

Landing safely...

Landing safely…

By John Trombley
The Village Business Institute

It seems that the faster I go, the behinder I get. I know that’s not a “real” word, but it works for me. It just seems that with every passing day, there is less of a margin left over with which to truly relax and rejuvenate myself. The work keeps coming. Clients have needs to be met, coworkers go on vacation and their work has to be spread among those available, and the busy-ness of business continues to cry out for attention. Constantly. And trouble never takes a vacation, right?

What’s a person to do?

I am reminded of something I learned back in my Air Force pilot training days when a flight instructor once talked about handling the stress of the moment when you first become aware of a serious in-flight malfunction. The natural tendency is to jump right into the emergency procedures. It has been about 35 years since those days, but what I remember is this: he instructed us to literally wind our watches (that was before the digital age), scan the situation in front of us, and then once we had a clear understanding of the bigger picture, then take the appropriate, coordinated action to address the conflict and resolve the emergency. Clearly the idea was to calm down, regain perspective, and then respond to the emergency rather than react to it.

Increase your margin by keeping things in perspective and then calmly deal with what is in front of you. Get up from your desk. Walk around the building for a few minutes. Take some deep, cleansing breaths. Hit the water cooler for a quick “cold one.” Find something to be thankful for every day and tell someone about it. Don’t get trapped in the minutia and lose your perspective and the joy of the journey.

In the end, I think you’ll have a safe landing.

Keep the pointy-end forward and the rubber-side down and have a safe and productive new year.


John Trombley

John Trombley, The Village Business Institute

About the Mediator
John E. Trombley is registered as a Qualified Neutral under Minnesota’s ADR Rule 114 with the Supreme Court of the State of Minnesota, and is trained in Family Mediation through the Mediation Center at the Hamline University School of Law. He is also trained in Critical Incident Stress Management Group Crisis Intervention, and certified in Internal Investigations by the Council on Education in Management. John has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and a Master of Management degree from the University of Mary, Fargo. Prior to founding his own organization development company, John served as a Command Pilot, Squadron Commander, and senior staff officer in the United States Air Force and Air National Guard — he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel with more than 6,200 flying hours.

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