“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.” – Joseph Campbell
It is interesting that two of my favorite writers Shonda Rhimes and Margaret Feinberg, have the same philosophies to say “yes” to life and its adventures.
Great leaders are not just great learners, they are experience junkies. They say yes to knowledge and experiences beyond their own sector and interests. This is not a recent belief, in his book, Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain shared, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Leaders have to stray from their routines in terms of diversity of thought and experiences. You have heard “leaders are learners” which is cliché but it goes beyond that, leaders are learners of diverse information.
There is no better example than Lin-Manuel Miranda with his musical Hamilton. His passion is musical theatre, his success is with hip hop theatre yet, as he intentionally browsed through a bookstore he found a biography of Alexander Hamilton, decidedly not hip hop or theater, and selects it for vacation reading. From that decision to say yes to new, a cultural phenomenon was born. Miranda is a great example of a leader who understands that a diversity of knowledge and interests have the ability to change his leadership and life’s work.
Summer is a great time to get out and explore, I encourage you to join me over the next 90 days to challenge yourself. Say yes to an adventure, say yes to a caper, say yes to something that scared you before, say yes to something you are ignorant about, read, watch, listen to something you have never tried. Who knows you may be the next Shonda, Margaret or Lin Manuel. More importantly you might just change the world.
Question: What new experience will you try this summer?