The Long Line

at any line between two points from from far enough away it will look
like a long line. On the other hand, look at a small section and the
same path often looks erratic and scary.


Why should you care about The Long Line? 

Because it effects everything you do.

People who are good at running a
meeting announce the goal and then they don't worry to much about what
happens during the meeting, when necessary they just steer it back
towards the goal. They understand that the meeting is a long line.

People who are bad at running meetings spend the whole meeting reacting to things. They act like a day trader.

The same is true with a day…or a week…or a chapter…or a book…or a blog post…or series of posts…or your life.

you look at your life as a long line with experiences and adventures
and people to interact with then what happens in any one interaction
isn't life changing. But if you look at your life like a day
trader…what happens in the next meeting could ruin everything.

Seth Godin explained it to me this way, "Seeing
the long line doesn't just make you calmer, it helps you steer the
boat. When a plane takes off for Boston, it's on course. But then the
wind and other things put it off course. The pilot doesn't turn around,
land and start over. She just corrects, ultimately staying on the long

Perhaps the best example of long line thinking is the
talented musician who makes a mistake but no one in the audience
realizes it because he "doesn't skip a beat".


3 thoughts on “The Long Line

  1. Jon, This is so true for the startup owner. In a few weeks I get to celebrate Flurry’s one year anniversary. If I had looked at every week, on its own, I think I would have gone insane. I have stepped into that trap way too often. Through it I have learned to see every bump, dip or battle as just parts of the journey. I know where I want to be and seeing the “long line” helps so much. Thank Seth for the reminder. Stay warm!

  2. This is great Jon – thanks for sharing!
    While I definitely believe in the importance of keeping our focus on the end goal, I also believe that we need to pay attention to some of those bumps. The meeting interruptions, the day trades, the wind blowing you off course – those are the things that make the ride fun and that give us those invaluable learning experiences.
    Keep your eye on the prize but also don’t be afraid to veer off-course sometimes; it can be more worthwhile than you could ever expect or plan for.
    PS – I’m reading Art of Possibility right now too!

  3. Dispencer says:

    Jon, I have been seeking for ages to find out why my meetings are so difficult.. and disjointed… your words are priceless! I am going to use them next week and see how things change… Yahoo! Carolyn

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