Want to be a better leader? Take an epic road trip!

Want to be a better leader? Take an epic road trip!

Want to be a better leader? Take an epic road trip.

 

Last week was the first time in a long time that I didn’t post.  I went on a road trip and did not write ahead of time, as is my normal practice.

I can’t remember the last time – if ever – I have gone away for a full week without my husband or son.  A few days here or there, sure, but not for this long of a stretch.

The good news is, they got along just fine without me here.  The better news is, so did I.  An entire week where I wasn’t someone’s wife, mother, employee or manager.  One where I didn’t have to be “on” for someone.

It may not be anyone else’s definition of a perfect vacation, but it came pretty close in my book.

The amazing part was, I still planned.  I still problem solved.  Road trips demand it, whether it’s knowing which way to point the car, anticipating traffic and weather challenges, or figuring out stops for food and gas.

By the end of the week, I felt refreshed.  Not just my energy and spirit, but my leadership skills as well.  An epic road trip can teach us more than any class.

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Going someplace new highlights our imperfections.

When we are surrounded by what is familiar, including friends, family and co-workers that know us, we feel comfortable.  Going someplace new, our habits, speech, and interactions may or may not fit in.  Strangers aren’t used to us, and may blurt out or react to our quirks.  It’s a great way to learn how we can be perceived by others.

In a small Wisconsin town, a waitress dropped everything to ring me out, rather than make me wait “because you are in such in hurry.”  I wasn’t in any more of a hurry than normal, but it made me realize my demeanor and approach was putting out a sense of impatience in the laid back atmosphere.  I’d like to say it didn’t happen again on the trip, but have you driven in small coastal towns on a warm weather day?

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