Big Sky Thinking

We all live under the same sky but we don’t all have the same horizon.

– Konrad Adenauer

In, A Savior For All Seasons, William Barker shares the story of a bishop back in the early twentieth century who had an exchange with a college president about all of the discoveries that had been made up that point in time. The bishop conveyed that he thought everything in nature and everything in inventions had been discovered. The college president took exception to this and told his guest that he was certain that within fifty years men would be able to fly. “Nonsense!” replied the bishop. “Only angels are intended to fly.” The bishop’s name was Milton Wright. He had two boys at home- Orville and Wilbur-who one day would prove him wrong.

As a leader, it is imperative that you know the causes of limited thinking and how it impacts you as a leader. As the above story reveals, we can all live under the same sky, but we can have different horizons. But why? Here are three common reasons.

We use the wrong words

If Orville and Wilbur had listened to their father they may have never taken flight. Often time, it’s the repeated use of our negative words that hold us back. It could very well be that you have grounded your dreams and blurred your vision by the words coming out of your mouth.

We have the wrong mindset

Your mindset has as much to do with your dreams as anything else. If all you entertain is negative talk and negative beliefs, all you will experience is negative outcomes. If your mindset is wrong, don’t expect the outcomes to be right. It just won’t happen.

We have the wrong vision

Many variables can come into play as to why your dream never materializes. Could it be that the dreams you are pursuing are just too small? Could it be that it’s just not worthy of your God-given talents and abilities? Better to fail when pursuing a dream too big than succeed at a dream too small.

Big sky thinking ought to be a reflection of big size dreams. What does that look like? Here are three for your consideration.

Big sky thinking is seeing what others don’t see

When Walt Disney’s wife was being introduced to speak at the dedication of Disney World, the emcee turned and said to her, “I wish he could have seen this”. To which she replied, “He did”. What do you see that others don’t? Big sky thinking is all about removing the limitations you have placed on yourself and those you’ve allowed to be transferred upon you. Dare to see beyond what others don’t or can’t.

Big sky thinking is refusing to settle for what’s easy

When a young President Kennedy cast the vision of man going to the moon, he embraced what was thought impossible and rallied a nation to believe with him. In a speech, he said, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” Big sky thinking is embracing things that are hard because nothing worth achieving ever comes easy.

Big sky thinking is all about believing in yourself

Joel Osteen said, “If you’re alive and breathing, you can still become everything God has created you to be.” Until you believe that, big sky thinking will always be out of your reach. Dare to believe in yourself and dare to believe that you are here for a greater purpose.

When you embrace big sky thinking you are creating a shift from limited thinking and limited.


Doug Dickerson
Doug Dickerson
DOUG has been speaking to audiences in the U.S. and overseas for more than 30 years. Doug knows how to spin a story, make you laugh, and how to challenge your traditional ways of thinking about leadership. Most of all, Doug is committed to helping you grow as a leader. Doug is a graduate of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida and studied Clinical Pastoral Education at Palmetto Baptist Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina. While his leadership expertise has its roots in ministry and teaching. His background also includes public relations and business. Doug understands the necessity of leadership development and why creating a leadership culture in your organization is critical to your success. He is the author of four leadership books including: Leaders Without Borders, 9 Essentials for Everyday Leaders, Great Leaders Wanted, It Only Takes a Minute: Daily Inspiration for Leaders on the Move, and Leadership by the Numbers. As a speaker, Doug delivers practical and applicable leadership insights with a dose of humor and authenticity that endears him to a wide range of audiences. Doug is a John Maxwell Team member.

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