As I progress in my leadership journey I have discovered that learning something from everything is a positive and productive way to engage life. I have taken a few responsible days of vacation this week to enjoy my friends, family, and my network of business connections. During the last week I had a chance to go on a business ride along with my old leader; it was a priceless opportunity to be inspired and learn.
I took notes and advice on my career from my previous leader, but in addition to their advice, the observable lessons of individuals taught me just as much. I went on the trip with a purpose to learn something from everything, and was determined to journal and share my experience.
- Powerful community: whether we visited retail locations, restaurants, or even filing gas up at the local gas station; community pride and inclusion was incredible. I noticed that everyone knew each other, and when observing interactions, they were tailored and personal conversations, it was inspiring and heartwarming.
- Steady pace: the Midwest might have a reputation for being slower to evolve, but who is getting the last laugh? I saw a steady, not slow pace of life, and while customers were waiting, they were engaged and happy rather than furious and rude. I took a few lessons on patience during my visit from others.
- Peaceful: during the trip the ride was relaxing, calming and peaceful- hopefully you got this message from the picture I took. You often hear in movies that States like Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska are nothing but fields; well you would be right for the most part. These fields were beautiful and represented a time before chaos and stress took over life. Ideally, I would work in the heart of New York, and take the “trafficless” roads back to my peaceful Victorian mansion costing lesson then a studio in Chicago.
- Pioneer entrepreneurship: in a bustling city, things like social media, electronic skyscrapers and QR codes might be the answer to marketing in the majority of situations. I say pioneer entrepreneurship only because in many towns, hand painted signs, ads in the local newspaper, and knocking on doors will get you the best results for your time. I found this to be uplifting and moving as I witnessed a style of networking that was more about relationships rather than just numbers.
- Self-reflection: countless hours in a car driving through fields and spotting an occasional house was a chance to reflect on the day. Rather than the stress and distraction of thousands of drivers, it was just me, my thoughts, and my conversation with my previous leader. The discussion was lighter, the thoughts were more productive, and my reflection on the day was peaceful. As we drove back into the city, I felt serenity and peace, as well as excitement and determination.
I have lived in towns as small as 800 people, I have lived in cities with millions, but one thing I know is there is always inspiration in everything if you’re looking. Don’t ever draw your own conclusions without exploring them yourself, others ideas will rob you of your own.
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