Road Warrior

by Ron on February 25, 2011

I’ve just returned from two weeks away from home.  I was on the road (and in the air), from DFW to Shanghai, to Beijing (Happy Chinese New Year!), Guilin and back to Shanghai delivering two days of sales training to an industrial client in three different cities.  Back in Shanghai I met with a major restaurant chain in China to help them with hiring better management trainees.

The life of a road warrior is not glamorous unless it’s someone else traveling and you wish it were you.  I’m speaking about the reality of it, because the idea of it can still be romantic.  While in Beijing I went to the Olympic complex and to Tiananmen Square.  I rode the subway and strolled the garden next to the Forbidden City at night.  The moon was full, the air frosty.  Guilin is beautiful and the limestone karst fingers are iconic of China, only I didn’t get to enjoy much of the scenery since I was there to work.

Travel is good to widen our horizons, to introduce us to people and ideas that we may nFeb 2011 Beijingot meet in our normal routine or our familiar haunts.  I think leaders find ways to travel either to new places or to mentally take trips that let them explore new landscapes.  Of course this can be escapism, but the best travel takes on a purpose.  We go with a sense of purpose or with a mission clearly defined.  That kind of travel tends to heighten my senses and help me take in all kinds of new ideas, connections and experiences that I would not have had otherwise.

If you have the life of road warrior now, take advantage of it and use it for maximum growth and learning.  Tune in and listen, pay attention to what’s going on around you and ask questions.

If you aren’t a road warrior but want to grow as a leader, there are ways to travel without leaving home.  Read good books, look up places on wikipedia and google, use your imagination more actively as you watch videos on youtube and creatively search for places and topics you want to learn more about.  Our connected world makes virtual travel like this much more possible.


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