A recent article from “Business Insider” posted on LinkedIn asked 20 of the world’s most successful CEO’s what they think all of their employees should do in the early years of their careers. For me, this kind of insight is invaluable, and so, my productivity came to a screeching halt and I jumped into this article straight away.
There were a number of aspects that were, in my opinion, a given, and somewhat expected. Little nuggets of knowledge and advice ranging from “invest in property,” or “work at a multi-national corporation,” “build and nurture good work ethic,” these were a given, I wasn’t really blown away by any of these pieces of advice.
However, what did somewhat astound me, was that out of the 30 CEO’s interviewed for this piece, 27 of them advised their people to travel.
Now I’ve been in the corporate world, I’ve encountered CEO’s. They’re in at 6 am, they leave long after everyone else has left, they have so much communicative traffic that they often hire a person solely to channel and screen the abundance of e-mails and phone calls.
Somehow, I just cannot picture these guys in shorts, one of those khaki hats, water bottle strapped to their hip, exploring the world freely as their advice suggests.
I was glued to this article, I researched a number of these businesses afterwards, I’m just not sure that they know exactly what they’re advising the world to get itself into.
Here are a number of reasons travelling is a bad idea, and could seriously affect your future career path.
- SEEING BEAUTIFUL THINGS RESULTS IN SEEING THINGS IN A BEAUTIFUL WAY:
There’s this strange phenomenon that happens where, whilst travelling, even the grungiest, dirtiest, decrepit buildings seem breath taking, filled with character and culture, whereas in your usual setting, driving past an exact replica of this building on your way to work in your home town, would make you sigh heavily and mumble about the way “this country” is going ever since so-and-so started running it.
All of a sudden the glass is more than half full, it overfloweth my dear. Your eyes are lifted from the confines of your mobile dwellings and your endless online endeavours and somehow, are tuned solely into the beauty of your surroundings. What torture.
- YOUR PROJECT MANAGEMENT SKILLS WILL FLOURISH, NATURALLY:
There is no better project manager, or any manager for that matter, than the manager who takes their project personally. Who feels losses, failures, successes and roadblocks personally. Travelling teaches all of the skills for Project Management in a real and personal setting- money management, time management, time conversion, planning, strategy, road map reading, stumbling through foreign language barriers , all of these and more you learn to tackle head-on to achieve daily goals. A number of these skills translate directly to the core skills of a project manager’s daily tasks and challenges. Travelling will enable you to relate iterations of a project to real life, worldly experiences and provide a depth of understanding and creative solution building. It gets worse.
- CULTURAL AWAKENING AND COMPASISON
You never truly understand a person, until you have been where they have been. In today’s remote world, we encounter a plethora of cultures and diversity intraday. A successful person, is only successful because of the pull and influence they have on people, clients, employees, markets, regardless. People. If one cannot connect with people, your success will be extremely short lived. The strange thing is that, when at home, you and I are too tired, irritable and even somewhat above understanding things about people. In travelling, with this wide-eyed curiosity that is an inherent condition when leaving our comfort zones, there’s almost a hunger to understand. You wouldn’t understand, for example, without travelling to Africa, why African’s speak at an extreme volume to each other in a public place. This is a sign of respect and assuring all those surrounding them, including you and I, that they are not gossiping or being deceitful about us. Or that when entering a room, a Zulu man will walk in front of the woman, so that if there is danger in the room he will face it and protect the woman.
On the same path one you can never understand the effects of Genocide until seeing Eastern Europe, or effects of natural disasters without visiting Thailand, Haiti, or the fear and destructive tendencies of Terrorism until visiting Ground Zero and the flood of emotions that overcome you while standing there as opposed to distancing ourselves through a television screen. You will never truly know compassion until you have been and felt what people have been through. In the words of Mark Twain “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness,” and what will the world do without those gems?
- THE YOLO SYNDROME
Yet ANOTHER syndrome contracted by travel. You go from routine, routine, routine, directly to what feels like the crazy train; “there’s a cliff, I want to jump off of it,” “there’s the ocean I want to skinny-dip in it,” “this meal is ridiculously over-priced.. I deserve to spoil myself.” The “You Only Live Once” syndrome. For that space and time, you feel that you are mortal, your time is limited, it is now or never to write the glorious nuances for the stories of your life’s book. This syndrome follows you, overshadows every decision you make, seduces you to take chances, risk loss, and man, to live. To be honest, I’m not sure you ever recover.
- INSIGNIFICANCE REIGNS
The most powerful sensation you’ll feel in travelling is insignificance. I know, who wants to feel insignificant? We’re all trying to be the hero of our time aren’t we? Unforgettable.. Immortal.. Legendary.
This insignificance, however, brings with it an unfathomable peace. Suddenly, you are a drop in the ocean, a needle in a hay stack, (insert any other idiom that brings the concept home for you). And the peace, that comes with the realisation that your worries, your stresses, that rumour mill that you are constantly the centre of.. nobody knows about it, about you, or cares for that matter. For some of us this can be a little.. let’s call it a lesson in humility. Many of us find such comfort in being the centre of the universe. It almost defines us. But this feeling of insignificance it reminds you, on both ends of the scale, that you’re your problems, those massive boulders on your shoulders that you insist on dragging around, they do not reach far, they are not galaxy destroyers and they have not branded you, they do not define you. In the same breath your chase for “greatness” may hold absolutely no weight just outside the borders in which you reside. And let us be honest, who wants to find out that there is an array of concepts of wealth in this world, and perhaps we are bountiful beyond measure and bathed in prosperity, we just did not know how to acknowledge ourselves as being so. Who in their right mind would want to find out that they’d been rich all along.
The world is changing. The office, the Boss, the employee, they’re changing. The paradigm has shifted. And clearly, by the aforementioned article, CEO’s are looking for employees and partners who has embraced the change. People no longer hire individuals so that they can place in production line, provide them with tasks and never engage again. People are hiring individuals with worldly experience, cultural conscientiousness and those with a degree from the university of “street smart”. I’m a little sceptical, these side effects and syndromes sound life changing.
I’ll have to do a little more research,
I need to go now, my flight is boarding.