Shay Colson expands on my brief article about altitude and goes in depth about accurately approaching them:
Your attitude towards the work impacts how you approach both the whole and any given specific component. Your altitude, i.e. at what level you’re working at, also impacts how you approach both the whole and any given specific component.
The essential difference here is this: attitude dictates how you approach your work whereas altitude dictates where you approach.
Colson then nails how to “shuttle between altitudes”:
Spend time interacting with as many kinds of people, ideas, and organizations as you can. Become a conduit for information flow – passing tips, articles, connections, and conversations to people in all parts of your network. Build a wholistic picture of your customer, your project, your firm, and your industry. Use this to inform decisions at all levels, and make sure that there’s a way for things you learn to feed back into the picture you are continually drawing and re-drawing.
Learn to do this and you learn how to approach problems of all kinds and design solutions for all altitudes.