I went on a trip to the Dominican Republic last week with my husband and his colleagues. They all won a sales contest and were being rewarded with this trip.
However, the experience made e think about change and perspectives and taking different kinds of risks!
One of the most dangerous things leaders can do is get stuck in a rut. Yet, it’s so easy for us human beings to do that. We like our routines. We like things the same. In fact, as women, we are often socialized to maintain the status quo!
But while our routines can be comforting and even productive, they can also keep us stuck and short-sighted. They can keep us playing it safe (and small).
And that’s the opposite of what leadership is.
Leadership requires risk—or should I say that great leadership requires taking risks? It means getting out of our comfort zones and tunnel vision to explore what’s next, to expand the vision, to keep yourself, your company and/or your organization growing.
Because if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking. Seriously, if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking because nothing in this world is static, as much as we’d like it to be sometimes.
So, how do you keep growing, keep taking risks, get out of your comfort zone? Here are three tips to help you regularly get a different perspective:
- Travel! The more exotic, the better. Experiencing different cultures, foods, architecture, history, etc. is a great way to shift your thinking and expand it. Of course, going on extensive trips all the time isn’t always possible, so you can also “travel at home”. Go to different restaurants, take a different route to work or to the grocery store. Visit a town in your state where you’ve never been. Even making small changes in your environment can help you look at things differently and spark your creativity and innovation.
- Talk to different people. It’s been fun getting to know my husband’s colleagues this week, and since they’re from all over the U.S., it’s been interesting to hear their viewpoints on different things. Plus, they’re in a different industry from me. Talking to new people in different situations can change the way you think too.
- Try new activities. One of the best ways to stretch our brains is to stretch our bodies in different ways too. Mix up your exercise routine. Try a new sport. Even if it’s only once in a while. It will not only help your brain, it will also help you use different muscles in your body. When we went snorkeling this morning, my husband realized that he was using different leg muscles than normal. It was eye-opening for him. It’s so important to keep our bodies moving in different dimensions! And… it has the added benefit of moving your brain in different dimensions too.
What do you do to shift your perspective? What do you do to keep yourself out of your comfort zone?