I just got back from a quick business trip to San Diego. Wow. It's a little different than the Midwest. I can't believe people live there.
This trip finished off what I call my "Tour of California." There's humor in that title because California is huge, I certainly haven't seen the entire state. But I did get to visit Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego in the past month and a half.
I wasn't created to be a business traveler. Or at least I don't think I was. If I was God would have gave me smaller hips and shoulders and made me 5'10". (By the way, someone in San Diego needs to address the width of the barriers between the urinals at the airport. I saw much smaller men barely fitting into the space provided.)
I've learned that travel adds value to our lives as leaders. Here are three things travel has brought into my life:
1. Adds Perspective - Leadership is not easy. Too often we just put our head down and pull the plow but we lose sight of the straight line we intended to walk. Drama arises. We can easily get lost in it. Travel makes us go away and gain perspective.
2. New ideas - If we go to new places we can see people doing things differently. Sometimes that's all we need as a leader. To see someone else having success another way and it makes us re-evaluate the way we have been leading. Leaders don't fear new, managers do.
3. Culture exposure - I loved getting to see all the different cultures of the leadership teams I experienced. Each culture was different because each leader was different. When we step into another culture we can bring things back with us that can improve our own culture. It could be a work ethic. It could be a way to communicate. It could be a commitment of being together. It's not a comparison but it's an opportunity to improve.
In this season I have been traveling to consult others I think I've learned more than I've taught. Travel has brought value to my leadership and I want to continue being in the presence of other leaders and their teams so that I can continue to grow as a leader.