On a recent Delta flight taking me from Portland to Detroit, I had the opportunity of sitting just in front of a family flying to California. As the parents were talking to the three kids, they were repeatedly talking about the sensations that would happen during take-off and the flight itself. It was obvious that this was a first plane trip for each of the kids. Although there was certainly a fleeting thought of finding a new seat away from what would certainly be crying and other disturbances in flight, I was also captivated by the way the parents were helping their little ones prepare for what was to come.
As we started to roll down the runway, the oldest child (I’m guessing 5 years old) started laughing and holding on to his father. The liftoff from the ground brought the biggest smile and victory whoop. What had certainly been a time viewed with uncertainty, had become a moment of triumph in the eyes of this child. As a sometimes jaded traveler, it was great seeing someone experience the joy of flight as I used to do.
These new experiences are important to whom we are and the organizations we work with. What has become routine and maybe even dull to us can be a source of inspiration to another who has not experienced it before. We miss an opportunity to evaluate what is truly important when we fail to see it through fresh eyes. I frequently tell our new hires that their eyes and their observations are vital to our organization as they see things without the filter of familiarity that develops over time. I enjoy chatting with people who are newly out of training to see what they liked and what they didn’t like. Although there are some things that must remain even if not liked, the view through new eyes provides a perspective that can be unique and very revealing.