Why every leader should travel ALONE? [The “7 why” list]

As every year that time around my birthday I’ve chosen to spend time on my own. It means travelling alone or (level up!) with new people. Last year it was lonely trip to Africa, this year I’ve chosen tramping with small group of totally new people in…Mexico.

I’ve done it as I strongly believe that travelling alone is a powerful tool to be a better person and …. a better leader. How is that possible? If you need arguments to convince yourself follow the “7 why list” below!

It develops YOU

1.    You can hear real you and your needs – as you are in a new place where nobody knows you’re CEO or manager, so nobody expects you taking decisions and ask you about your opinion. Being on your own means caring only about your needs. Then knowing what YOU (not people around nor business you’re expected to boost) really want is a challenge as you have to listen to yourself. Seems simple but it occurs to be a challenge.

2.    You can discover your fears and limits with no obligation to pretend you are the bravest. Doing new things when nobody’s watching, you’ll experience what you really fear of and what limits you. Jumping over the waterfall, facing a wild animal or eating just form the street? Whatever it is you don’t have to put a mask and pretend you are brave – just face the real fears and stay out of your comfort zone with no obligation to overcome it. Believe me – it will give an enormous power and redefinition of what really limits you.

3.    You can back to your basics – no PA helping you to book your flights or taxi? No advisors showing you the best possible rout? Nobody’s helping you to do this small everyday basic you’ve used to? Hell yeah, life it so hard 😉 But thanks to that you can back to your basic powers to organise, plan and test the execution …with no obligations somebody is going to be hurt hugely because of your bad decisions. Tempting, huh? Try this to feel your basic powers in simple things again.

It empowers OTHERS

4.    You can understand others and re-learn to meet people needs – meeting new culture and group of people when you are not in a CEO-status means you have to agree to things you don’t find nice. You have to adjust and be sensitive to survive. So if agreeing to the system or caring of other people weird beliefs scares you, it is definitely for you!

5.    You can open yourself to different than your view – experiencing new culture means you able to see how other people think, acts and drive. As you have to understand that to survive, it simply helps you to be more sensitive and open to different view. It might occurs it will be better than your vision apparently 😉 It will widen the scope of your perception and different views tolerance. Your employees will thank you for that for sure!

It helps your BUSINESS

6.    You can transfer new skills to business. It’s harder part, but think that: overcoming you limits in totally out-of-business (means safer) landscape may influence your level of differences acceptance or it may change your risk-taking approach! Whatever it is transferring this new you experiences means better business decision and better people management. It is 100% worth it!

7.    Last but least, travelling alone means you have to leave you daily business and letting your people manage themselves – if you’re control freak, it might release your managers’ power letting them to show their true skills and empower their ownership. Nothing better can happen to a leader!

Enough of arguments? Cool. If it happens you think of travelling alone, next thing is to start! Yes, travelling for development means you have to prepare, sorry. Why? To turn all “you can” into a real steps on the road to be a better leader.

How to start? 4 crucial things

1.    START: start from small steps – you don’t have to plan 3 weeks trip just after reading this article. You will quickly be stuck in a bunch of self excuses on why you can’t do this (family and work on the top). To start, find time to spend 3 days alone in new surrounding or do something you don’t like.

2.    PLAN: spot your fears – the more something make you feel “no, I will don’t survive this”, the better for your development it will be. Thinking about hiking in the mountains with a tent makes you feel uncomfy? Go for it!

3.    EXPERIENCE: say YES to everything you experience, don’t think before, don’t overthink when experiencing. You will reflect on it later 🙂

4.    REFLECT: find time for reflection. Listen to yourself, spot what your mind is telling you when you’re out of your comfort zone? How do your react? What helps you to overcome that? In may case this year it was a braver soul that helped me to overcome my limits pushing me to do things I’d have never think I am able to do. Now it is my responsibility to transfer this experience to working habit. You can do it to.

Uff, convincing somebody to be out of comfort zone is not easy but we made it! I hope it gives you a piece of courage to travel and re-discover yourself. Or reflecting over your limits at least 😉 Have a wonderful self-discovering trips!

If you have experienced it in your live already, share your travel with us!