The Helicopter View

My colleague Marc Rubin used the phrase the other day.


I have used other phrases that connote the same behavior, but this one more than others tickled my fancy.

A helicopter knows how to hover in place.

It swoops high or low and instantly shifts perspective.

It spins to another spot with lightning speed.

I like to work with mental cues. Intentional inner commands that I call upon when I wish to redirect my attention. The best mental cues are a mere word. I invoke this word at will.

Helicopter is such a cue word. Evocative. Bold. Clear.

Here’s how I propose you use it: When you find yourself bogged down in a conversation that does not seem to move. When the creative juices simply are not flowing. When the energy feels stuck. Cue yourself.


Step outside of the moment. Hover above it. Circle the scene of the crime. For a moment only, for minutes maybe. Until clarity comes.

This is the beauty of helicopter-hovering. Clarity WILL come. Energy WILL start to flow again. Every time.


Our ability to switch out of a moment in which movement has come to a stand-still is a liberating skill. It leaves everyone off the hook. It sets everyone in the moment up to win. If Helicopter doesn’t do the mental trick for you, pick a cue word that does. Make it a word that is brazen and evocative for you. But please – know how to lift yourself into the helicopter view.

As you go about your business this week, be mindful of situations in which “things get bogged down.” Messy is good. Messy without movement is not.

When movement has ceased, take the helicopter view. You will find clarity. Better yet, before you know it, forward-moving energy will be released.

Sound too simple? Guess what. IT IS THAT SIMPLE.

Happy helicoptering.