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As we waited to deplane, I asked the flight attendant a question that had been bothering me for some time.  Why don't you get the maps fixed so they show the proper elevation? Is it a technology thing that when the plane lands the maps stop registering? He says uh.... what do you mean? (Looking at me as if I'd grown a horn on my forehead). Well, I kind of huffily point to the map which plainly shows we are at an elevation of 879 feet - and I say, we are landed! Yes, he says but we are not at sea level.  We are nearly 900 feet higher.

That moment.  The moment when it strikes you with absolute clarity that you have so missed the point, the meaning, that there is nothing left to do but say, ah, thanks. And your real name is on the boarding pass too, damn it.

The moment in a team meeting when you realize that you just don't get it.  I  know a leader who has a rapier quick mind bordering on brilliance. I occasionally get lost in a sea of acronyms as he blazes through an explanation of an issue or process.  I'm pretty certain that his mind is expanding the acronyms as he says them and it's very clear to him, but sometimes, not so much for me, and I have learned to say, hey Mike, I need the full version.

There are times when the message is cloudy, or scrambled, or it's just plain something you missed in 7th grade social studies when you were worried about passing notes to your girlfriends without getting caught.  It's never too late to seek clarity - ask the questions and yes, shake your head at yourself when you need to.  And you will be able to share the message and direction with your team with much better if you do so.

I write this from elevation 5 ft.  pretty much sea level as I sit in the sand by the ocean in Maui. Got it, Mr. West Jet.  Thanks. 


 


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