7 Global Leadership Lessons Traveling Can Teach You

Prepare to Make your Next Trip your Global Leadership Teacher.

Prepare to make your next trip your global leadership teacher. Traveling can teach you core leadership lessons but when you open yourself to new seeing, being and thinking. These can be precious lessons about life and being in the world. Living in six countries and traveling much of the globe has gifted me with lessons in my quest to being my greater version and a global citizen. Here is how:

  1. Being Curious

Go where (other) locals eat, where they have fun and live life as it is for them. Jump in the car and drive off the beaten path. I can’t begin to tell you all I’ve discovered doing just that; the consequence of which is often connecting with people who are not part of the glitz. Connecting with people from various walks of life within the “same” culture provides you an invaluable skill of connecting with different people through finding understanding and new ways of communicating ideas and feelings. Here is where lessons in global citizenship unfold.

2. Risk Taking

As a woman (not that this doesn’t apply to men), it is specifically through risk taking on travels I have learned that I can go well beyond the limits many people place on curious people — especially curious women! Travel risk taking will become a huge learning for being (especially a female) entrepreneur and change-maker. But I’ve also learned about human vulnerability, especially as a woman. And so, curiosity, fearlessness and finding your own happy medium between that and, for lack of a better term, sheer naiveness teaches you the art of daring your way through life, work and business.

3. Adapting

New place! New rules. When you go off the beaten path and allow yourself to be truly immersed in new circumstances, you’re not going to have your way all the time. Instead of wishing for “normalcy”, routine and predictability, enjoy the ride. You’ll learn a critical leadership skills — first being adapting to change. The only constant in this world is change!

4. Being Resilient

When things don’t go as planned in that, things are going “wrong”, a skill every great leader knows is to breathe. Adaptability and resiliency go hand in hand. You become resilient when you learn to accommodate new ways of thinking and acting in relationship to new circumstances — and breathe.

5. Problem Solving

Learning adaptability and resiliency is your stepping stones to problem solving under time constraints and pressure. What resources in your new environment can you fall back on when you’re lost, stuck or facing an unforeseen challenge? Who can you ask for help? All these new circumstances and opportunities can teach you critical problem solving skills and innovation in our fast changing world.

6. Embracing Cultural Differences

When you are put in a circumstance to navigate different perspectives, you’ll likely hit up against opposing understandings. How are locals (and others) interpreting a particular reality? Why? Ask and investigate with an open mind, don’t assume things. Broaden your horizons on cultural differences, biases and preferences towards all sorts of phenomena. Broadening your own understanding hits one of the biggest lessons towards true global leadership.

7. Resolving Conflict

Different perspectives around issues you are invested in and care about can act as triggers. Use these triggers as opportunities to enhance that breathing and push yourself to even greater curiosity. Again, as the world becomes smaller you will have more opportunity to resolving conflicts connected to different perspectives. Embrace this learning lesson that abounds on travel to new places.

Global leadership skills are becoming one of the most valuable assets in an ever increasingly fast paced global world, whether in career, business or life. But more important — opening yourself to learning critical skills like these on your next travel will give you the lessons you need to becoming your greater version of you. After all, leadership starts with growing into our greater versions.