“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, share the same philosophy of saying yes to life and its adventures.
Leaders have to stray from their routines to diversify their thoughts and experiences. You have heard “leaders are learners,” but this goes beyond that cliché. Great leaders are experience junkies. They say yes to knowledge and experiences outside their comfort zones.
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.”
There is no better modern example than Lin-Manuel Miranda with his musical “Hamilton.” He has a passion for musical theatre and previous success with hip hop; yet, one day, browsing through a bookstore, Miranda found a biography of Alexander Hamilton. The book was decidedly not hip hop or theater, but he selected it for vacation reading anyway. From that decision to say yes to something 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.
Spring is finally here, and the warmer weather makes it a great time to get out and explore. I encourage you to agree to an adventure this season. Try something new that used to scare you. Read, watch and listen to things you have never paid much attention to before, and see what you can discover.
Question: What new experience will you try this summer?