Travelling as Learning



Many years ago, I mentored a CEO for 5 years.  He always said that CEOs should travel overseas every year.  Travelling overseas has now been my habit for over 22 years and the reasons are as follow (the why, the what and the how)

 1.       Why?

  • Releases you from the rut of daily, weekly, monthly and yearly habits – the daily grind of emails, telephone calls and the pressure of deadlines and meetings.
  • Relieves you from the distractions and noise of your own environment (eg the pressure of the extended family - nice but good to have a break) and chores around the home.
  • Challenges you to re-examine your life, leadership and business. 
  • Enables you to meet new people who broaden your horizon.
  • Helps you evaluate Australia when you go abroad eg:
    -    Airports in Singapore smell clean and have service phone numbers everywhere
    -    Various immigration experiences – simplicity versus complexity
    -    The leadership of the country and the perception gained
    -     Housing – its design and size
  • Provides you with new ideas as you meet with different people - your senses are heightened in new surrounds
  • Causes you to think and be (remember leadership = thinking + being + doing)

 2.       What?

 When I go overseas I usually have from two to five purposes.

  • To learn something new - eg Keepers of the Flame, Boulder Colorado June 21-24.  This was a wonderful two-day conference with 10 year + experienced mentors looking at purpose, relationships, balance and true prosperity.
  • To speak for 3 – 5 days eg:
    2011 – Portland Oregon
    2010 – Wisconsin
    2009 – Canada
  • To visit new places to undertake research for new products, process and services
    2012 – USA and UK:
    -    The Art of Engagement
    -     Emotional quotient
  • To visit my family.  This is very important as my daughter, her husband and two children (all American citizens) live in Washington State, USA.
  • To network
    Paterson Leadership Centre, Boulder – a centre devoted to Life and Strategic Planning

3.       How?

  • Plan one year in advance
  • Fly Premium Economy or Business Class to get the greatest enjoyment
  • Go for four weeks – not longer.  If you are away longer it is difficult to keep connected back home and there are too many ends to pick up upon returning
  • Travel light (one small case+carry on) as airports are huge & you only use half of what you pack.  Simplify, simplify, simplify.
  • Write down what you learn - what impacted you, what new thoughts impressed you, what empowered you
  • Record it in a blog

 4.       Conclusion

 If you haven’t gone travelling yet, make this a goal as your life will be transformed.  Contemplate the saying, "You are never the same having seen the moon rise on the other side of the world”.  These words hang on a wall in our house at the beach and each time I read them I delight in the truth and memories they evoke.