Leadership

The Adventurous Spirit

Incoming call.

“Hey Ryan…what are you up to?  We are heading down to South America.  Starting it out in Caracas, Venezuela man.  Going to be a huge week.  Meetings and dinners with some fantastic people.  Thought of you and wanted to pull you into the conversation…calling with plenty of notice for you buddy…plane leaves in 48 hours!”

Incoming call.

“Hey Ryan…how are things?  Planning to head over to Shanghai in a couple weeks for a 3 or 4 day writing sabbatical and to have a look around.  Why don’t you join me?  It would be a great time of year to get out, clear the decks and get some real creative energy going!”

I get these kind of phone calls.  I have interesting friends with quite an adventurous spirit. This is how they work, build, create, push, evolve, improve.  I haven’t always been one to embrace the adventure agenda.  I am learning.

I rejected both of these invitations.  Immediately.  I was resistant.  The notion of running off to some far away place to network and write made me uncomfortable.  It just didn’t seem like the right way to do meaningful work.  I wanted that desk by 7:45 a.m.  That familiar place.  The office.  The place where real work gets done during regular business hours.  I was conditioned early and ended up missing out.

A little structure and discipline are necessary for peak performance.  So is a healthy dose of the adventurous spirit.  The best ideas and breakthrough moments often remain elusive in the safety zone.  Being open to experiencing those little stretch moments pushes you learn and grow.  The great thing about work today is it doesn’t demand the traditional schedule and structure.  We are more free than ever to determine how, when and where we do our very best work.  The free agents figured that out and companies are starting to catch up.

Autonomy is a powerful driver for a several of the big time producers I know. These produces are masters at evolved work style design, efficiency and elevated output.

Those trips to Caracas and Shanghai proved to be the genesis for a successful new business venture and the writing of a book.  Not bad output from the adventure tour. I was watching from the sidelines.

I will be heading to Caracas, Venezuela this fall for a speaking engagement.  Following, I may stop in Peru to do some writing for a couple days.  I am looking forward to that adventure.

This week my version of the adventure tour takes me to Eugene, Oregon for our Engage! event and then off to Dallas, Texas for an evening with AT&T .

The places we go and people we meet can have forever impact.  I am learning.

Animated gif of Ryan speaking on stage Screenshot of e-newsletter

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