EVERYTHING is a story. It’s up to you to LEAD the story for the organization, for your team, and for your prospects.


The Altitude Framework Overview: Video and Guidebook

The For Impact ALTITUDE FRAMEWORK is our most referenced and utilized tool by our team, our coaches and our clients.

We use the Altitude Framework to order thinking, communications, and storylines. We use it to develop Engagement Tools. And, we use it to think through the Flow of the Visit.

The Altitude Framework works great for Presentations, Agendas, Meetings, Speaking, Strategic Plans and Action Plans.

One of the reasons that this framing device is so popular is first, its obvious simplicity. Everyone can understand the hierarchy of WHY, WHAT and HOW and they intuitively get the connection between VISION, STRATEGY and EXECUTION.

Second, is its versatility. We use the Altitude Framework to order thinking, communications and storylines. We use it to think through the Logic of the Presentation, simplify priorities and develop Engagement Tools. It works for the Flow of the Visit, for Presentations, Agendas, Meetings, Speaking, Strategic Plans and Action Plans.

We have color coded our Altitude Framework (Blue, Red, Green) to lay out our content, our guides and our books. This allows us to talk shorthand and reach decisions ten times faster than a normal process.

Download our Guidebook for more ‘On Altitude.’


Following are some ways to help you understand and apply ALTITUDE.

At 30,000′:

An airplane’s cruising altitude, plenty of blue sky, a great view, etc. At 30,000′, our brain even seems to work better!

At this altitude, it’s all about your vision, your aspirations, your raison d’etre. It’s a place to think and talk about your mission, your meaning, your values. It’s a place for Guiding Principles, Big Hairy Audacious Goals And ‘Definite Chief Aims’ (as Napoleon Hill calls them).

At 30,000′ leaders and visionaries have the ability to see the horizon, the curve of the earth, the rising and setting of the sun. Obviously, you can’t do that from 3’. The perspective at 30,000’ is unmatched. This is where you can think about making Steve Jobs’ “dent in the universe” and dream about CHANGING THE WORLD!

At 14,000′:

It’s the view and perspective from the ‘top of the mountain’ – In the Rockies, they’re called ‘fourteeners’. The air is thinner, raptors soar. If 30,000’ is about vision, 14,000’ is about focus. A place to talk about Strategic Plans and Business Models and Funding Models, and to find clarity around Priorities. At 14,000′, ‘Everything’s A Project’ and every project has goals, time lines, a team leader, a team, a budget, constraints, etc.

At 3′:

It’s ‘boots on the ground’, ‘feet on the street’. It’s tactical. It’s execution. It’s ACTION!


One of our primary goals is simply to make you aware of 30,000′ and what it means to share the message and story at 30,000’.

Your prospects will engage with you at the level of YOUR choosing. So, if you’re at 3,′ talking about where the architects are placing bathrooms, this will frame the conversation. And, if you’re at 30,000,′ talking about changing and saving lives then the dialogue will reflect that.

One example: We worked with a well-respected social entrepreneur and Ashoka fellow. A driven individual and true visionary, he gets up every morning trying to eliminate poverty. However, whenever he went to make an ‘ask,’ the conversation would turn into a debate about the business model (at 14,000′). The Altitude Framework helped him to see why this was happening.

Being an award-winning social entrepreneur, his message had taken shape around ‘doing business in a different way’, about ‘earned income’, about ‘not relying on philanthropy’ and about being ‘best in the world at being sustainable.’ Naturally, prospects were engaging him at this level. The 30,000′ “WHY” wasn’t coming through in his message. His story needed to be about being best in the world at eliminating poverty (30,000′) — first — and then incorporating a different business model (at 14,000′).

The Altitude Framework was a simple tool that made him aware of his 30,000′ message.