Expanding Horizons

Gerwig 2014-05-16

The scene above is from a small city in the US. This intersection is at the heart of several good restaurants and watering holes, places you can hang-out, talk with others (friends, family or strangers) and “people watch” (a favorite pastime for many of us)! Right?

Many of you have traveled to the big cities of the world: Singapore, New York, London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Rome, Sydney, Paris, Shanghai, and so on. You are a world-class traveler and know your way around the major global airports. You have a passport full of stamps and a travel wallet full of various currencies from around the world. You travel for pleasure, business or both.

Others of you travel on a smaller scale. You get in your car and head out for the weekend to a regional getaway a few hours away. You hop a train and go skiing for the weekend. You take a short flight to go diving. Or get in your RV and go to a nearby national park for a week.

Still others of you don a backpack and go across to the world to the Himalayas, far from the city. You get on a BMW motorcycle, pack your saddlebags, and head south through Central America. You go on an adventure cruise to Alaska, fishing for salmon, and looking for grizzlies in Denali. You ride a Land Cruiser on a night safari looking for lions and hyenas.

Lastly, some of you don’t travel. You stay at home. There are many reasons for this, money, health, time, and lack of interest being the four big obstacles. Regardless, you don’t travel either because you can’t or you won’t.

This week’s article isn’t to discourage those who can’t travel for money, health or other reasons. This article is to inspire those who don’t travel and to encourage those who already do.

The world-class leader knows there are many ways to expand horizons. You can read, watch documentaries, talk to people with opposing points of view, listen to others who have unique knowledge, etc. But one key way to expand your horizons is to travel.

Travel has several benefits. It can help open your mind, increase your perspective, change your paradigms and expand your horizons. World-class leaders know that travel is beneficial.

Whether you’re traveling to a local hangout within a small city (like the one pictured above), going to Hong Kong, Capetown or Patagonia, take advantage of travel and its benefits. Go out. Explore. Try new food. Visit the tourist “hot spots.” Get off the beaten path. Eat like the locals. Ask questions. You get the idea.

You don’t have to have all the answers ahead of time. Part of the learning comes from figuring it out as you go along. Travel in a first-world country brings a different set of experiences than travel in a third-world country. Try both. You’ll develop a different, and unique, set of skills traveling in a variety of settings. There’s really not a wrong way to do it.

I am fortunate to have traveled many places. In cities. In remote mountains. In small towns. In the desert. In the tropics. In different continents. By myself. With groups. On business. For work. On vacation. Serving others. Learning. Exploring. Experiencing. And in all cases, expanding horizons.

What about you? If you’re capable of traveling, I encourage you to do so. Be adventurous. Expand your mind. You’ll be a better leader, a better husband, a better wife, a better student, a better boss, a better employee. If you’re already traveling, be sure to enjoy it. Take time to recognize what you’re learning. Make the most of your travel. Don’t stay in your hotel, get out. See the sights. Rent a car. Hire a local guide.

Be safe. Have fun. Go on an adventure. Take pictures. Write in journal. Think. Pray. Serve. Experience. Get out of your house, apartment, condo, or flat and travel!

As always, the floor is open to your comments, suggestions, thoughts, and feedback.

Dr. is an agent of change and is able to balance the needs of the business and the needs of people. Dr. Gerwig believes and practices the values of performance and delivery of business metrics while simultaneously developing and growing people into leaders. You can contact him at RobertGerwig[at]LeadStrategic.com.

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