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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Broadening Horizons
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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Broadening Horizons - Executive Leadership Articles

Tips For The Traveling Executive: Broadening Horizons

Executive Leadership Articles

Tips For The Traveling Executive: Broadening Horizons

Steve Sands is The Golf Channel’s lead interviewer on PGA tour broadcasts, which means he’s on the road almost every week. In a recent radio interview, he said business travel can be a grind, but that he makes it a point to take time at every tour stop to visit one historical or culturally significant location. While his broadcast partner is an airport-hotel-work-hotel-airport kind of traveler, Sands says a member of the tech crew shares his interest, and together, they attempt to expand their cultural knowledge a little at a time, so that when they get back on the plane, they’re not just bringing with them hotel shampoos and diner’s regret. Instead, Sands has photos, new experiences, and new understanding to share with his kids when he sees them again, not to mention a broader view of the world and his place in it, an invaluable quality for someone who records people’s stories for a living.

Because your dining is likely expensed, and because you have to eat anyway, it’s tempting to limit your new experiences during business travel to broadening your palate, and while that’s nothing to snicker at, great food and wine are only a small slice of the meaningful offering a new city, state, or country has for you.

Writing for the American Society of Travel Agents, U. Gary Charlwood highlights the business value of personal growth during travel: “Deals are regularly struck over a fine meal at an award-winning restaurant or a round of golf on an exclusive course. To create meaningful, lasting relationships with clients, however, it helps if you know something about their culture, history and place. The more curious you are, and the more willing to satisfy that curiosity by actively exploring your destination, the better impression you'll make on your customers, coworkers and stakeholders.” Add to this the increase in empathy and understanding you’ll have when you return to your home office, and associates or clients in other cities become more than just names on documents; they become people you know and care about.

Yet improved relationships are merely the immediate, direct benefit for the business traveler who ventures away from the hotel. New experiences in new locales are also good for your leadership skills, says Zeynep Ilgaz for Entrepreneur.com. “You don’t want new contacts to remember you for being grouchy,” she writes. “And what’s the point of traveling if you never leave your hotel room? Go sightseeing, or eat at a local café. Personal growth makes you a better leader, and experiencing different cultures expands your mind. Take the opportunity to look at the world from a different angle.” Multiple experiences and multiple angles mean better brainstorming and problem-solving, not to mention an overall stronger concept of bigger-picture ideas.

Still, there’s even more to it than being better at your job. Inc.com contributing editor John Brandon, in offering his “best business travel tip ever,” suggest that “anyone can see business travel as an opportunity to change your thinking. It's not just about meeting people. It's about paying attention to details and embracing change. It’s about movement in mind and body.” You, the frequent business traveler, can “let travel change who you are as a person. See the journey from one point to another as more than just a part of your job. See it as a way to grow and learn, an excursion of thought and movement, an epiphany waiting to happen. When you do, it will change how you view the entire experience.”

There’s no question that frequent business travel can be a slog, but you haven’t given up on improving your health, your mental acuity, or your leadership skills, so it makes sense to embrace the opportunities that await, wherever you may be traveling, to expand your knowledge and broaden your horizons, which can serve all these and more.

Links:
American Society of Travel Agents: http://www.businesstravelnews.com/More-News/ASTA-Viewpoint-Business-Travelers-Seek-Enrichment
Inc.: http://www.inc.com/john-brandon/here-s-my-best-business-travel-tip-ever.html
Entrepreneur: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246413

 

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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Broadening Horizons - Executive Leadership Articles

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