We hear plenty about the need to capture a greater market share and extend our businesses into fresh demographics. But before you can lead into new territory you first have to become more comfortable working outside your familiar zone. Here are 8 stimulating ideas for pushing yourself to the next level of leadership mindset.
#1 Venture Outside Your Comfort Zone
Choose a charity or other group that matches your fears and do a good deed while strengthening your mindset. Do power tools intimidate you? Join a Habitat for Humanity crew and master them! Do you get sweaty palms when a police car is in the rearview mirror? Sign-up for a nighttime patrol car civilian ride-along!
#2 Get Immersed in a Foreign Culture
Learn a dozen phrases in three different languages. Take a culinary class and delve into an exotic ethnic cuisine. Learn the salsa or the tango. Make a friend whose background is totally different from yours. Expand your world and your people perspective.
#3 Change Your Age Group
Hanging out with people much older or younger than you can feel a bit awkward at first. But that’s a good thing, because awkwardness means you are stepping out of your comfort zone! You’ll find fun and interesting ways to mingle across the generation gap through mentoring, volunteering, or taking classes and workshops that target a different age group.
#4 Go Faster!
If you live near a racetrack, sign up for a driving class where professionals let you fly down the stretch and slingshot through the turns. Skydive out of an airplane. Take a local weekend workshop offered by the Department of Motor Vehicles and learn how to ride a motorcycle. Accelerate your body and activate your mind!
#5 Take a Hike!
Visit a nearby national park and take a guided but challenging nature hike with a park ranger. Participate in an outdoor survival seminar. Learn how to make fire using a flint and steel, or how to find your way if you’re lost in the woods. Get into the wilderness – which is the very definition of being out of your comfort zone!
Going into unfamiliar waters requires that we open our minds and eyes and pay attention with greater empathy and concentration. But that is also what makes you a better leader. What should be on your “to do” list of activities to catapult you into that exciting world outside your cozy zone?
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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion™ System.
1-800-267-3245 | www.illustraconsulting.com
Copyright © 2013, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS