I will unashamedly admit that what you are about to read is mostly NOT mine, but the summary of a longer article produced by brilliant adventure travel blogger duo @mappingmegan. I wholeheartedly agree with its content and encourage you to follow the blog, sign up for the tweets and so on because it is totally worth your precious reading time! Here is the link: www.mappingmegan.com
So what is the link between women, travel and leadership? Excelling as a leader “Does not just entail past experience or hard skills; it also involves personality, life experiences, and everything that makes you who you are.” Mabel Lee.
Here are 5 reasons why @mappingmegan says women who travel become better leaders:
Invaluable People Skills – Travel is one of the best things you can do to develop great communication skills, a crucial aspect of being a leader. A successful leader interacts and communicates well with others, relates to other people, and works well with those of all different backgrounds. There is no doubt about it, international travel teaches an appreciation of culture and respect for other races, backgrounds, opinions and thoughts, and these translate into people skills which are essential for a successful leadership.
A leader who understands that “different” does not necessarily mean “wrong”, that strange cultures should be explored and not judged, who keeps open mind to new perspectives and is willing to listen, understand and communicate with others; this is a leader who will go far.
Time Management & Organization – Anyone who has ever traveled will tell you that the secret to getting the most out of a trip is an effective use of time. Think organizing multiple forms of transportation, making sure not to miss any of the city’s best attractions or exploring a whole country in a short amount of time. All of this involves careful calculation, good attention to detail, prioritization, an incredible amount of organization, and the ability to set goals. A prospective leader who takes a career-break for travel will likely return a savvy planner, excellent at self management, and return more punctual and detail-oriented than ever before. Above all, they will know how to efficiently manage their time.
Develop Problem Solving – Travel is one of the greatest ways to develop your problem solving skills. If there is one thing international travel will teach you it is the ability to think on your feet and adapt to change. International travelers are constantly faced with new challenges, stressful situations and unknown circumstances, and the ability to react accordingly is what makes a leader great.
Common Sense – Travel teaches you to survive by yourself, and imparts a sense of practical thinking and street smarts. A traveler learns to always be observant of their surroundings, to make practical decisions in the moment, and to be ready for change. They learn good sense and sound judgement in practical situations, and can perceive, understand and judge a situation in a sensible and level headed way.
Travel Makes You Fearless – Nothing is impossible for those who have traveled the world. They have likely lived a life full of more adventure than most people dream of, and have had their mind blown wide open to a world of endless possibilities, creative thinking, and a world where anything could happen and reality can be negotiable.
As well as agreeing with the 5 reasons above I also want to add 2 additional ones of my own which are closely linked and incredibly important too. I believe that traveling really empowers you as a woman and provides with amazing self awareness and self confidence. These are two qualities absolutely crucial to leaders. Which better way that understanding yourself and confronting your own weaknesses and strengths than during travelling? Leaving behind our own preconceptions, views and habits in order to adapting to others and learning from them…this inevitably brings greater understanding of one self and greater belief in one’s ability to deal with challenges and opportunities.
So next time you interview for a position, make sure to fully use your traveling experiences as a way to highlight your leadership skills!