“In every landscape, the point of astonishment is the meeting of the sky and the earth. Beauty breaks in everywhere.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature
I love Emerson as much as I love Thoreau (aka “Live deep and suck the marrow out of life” guy). I think there’s something in these writings for everyone, and even though they are the quintessential thinkers of 19th century America, the ideas are pure—there’s lots of room to cross over, regardless of your country or language.
I think the Emerson quote can offer us some insight about our focus as leaders. It’s the horizon—the intersection of strategy and the daily work of organizations—that is the place of astonishment. That’s the magic sweet spot, the special sauce of any team or group. How are we making the best dream of the organization a reality? We can’t have one without the other! That incredible thin pink line of dawn, or the fiery backdrop of the sunset behind the Olympic Mountains here in the Northwest U.S.—this is where beauty breaks out. You’ve got to get up high enough to see it, though, and if you’re down in the weeds, mucking about, you haven’t got the horizon in sight.