One of the most powerful experiential ways a leader can improve her ability to think, discern and even step aside to both allow and encourage growth, is to get out into nature with the intention of having her mind opened — WIDE.
The sameness of the office space can cause you to forget how to navigate within the boundless space of possibilities, ideas, and different perspectives. It’s easy to forget that YOU might be the one who keeps your team from the path towards fulfilling your purpose, vision and goals … the one who needs to more progressively move the needle and explore diverse ways of seeing and doing.
Walking promotes collective forward momentum and vistas that are expansive. It provides an invitation to let go of the reins of power that all too often hamper change.
When I embarked on the 192 mile walk across England in 2017, the experience taught me a lot about what it took to move in the flow of what was before me. I also learned to maintain the balance required to stay focused. And, I had to let go of the need for structured yet unrestricted expectations.
When I’m out hiking, I find myself immersed in the powers of observation, focus and concentration. How I took each step was based upon the conditions of my immediate environment. It didn’t matter what happened a mile back, and I had no idea what I would discover on the path ahead.
Remember, your present moment rules and every step you take counts.
The paths on our Coast to Coast walk across England required crossing fields, climbing over stiles, navigating steep hills, clambering along rocky paths, sliding down boggy trails and even included an unnecessary, hair-raising river crossing.
When the terrain changes, it requires you to stay focused and attentive to both the journey and the destination – sometimes it requires you to adapt.
Our map got blown away by strong winds on a wide expanse of land … and it took a while to realize it was missing. If it weren’t for a book I had carried, not initially intended to be used as our map through the next 13 days of consecutive walking, our journey could have come to an abrupt halt.
The ability to shift gears, have an intentional Plan B, and other voices of wisdom, is the way to counter the unexpected.
Allow nature to teach you, the leader, how to step aside, use the expertise of others, and cope during 360 degrees of change.
Walk outside, practice being present and conscious of what happens around you AND inside you.
Walk and learn your way toward even greater successes!