This past week, I presented a workshop at Chris Guillebeau’s Pioneer Nation event here in Portland that was a little bit out of my comfort zone.
It wasn’t about leadership. It was about pricing products & services.
And I gotta tell you, it was exhilarating.
Scary as heck, but exhilarating.
I accepted the challenge (and thanks Tyler Tervooren for your help in this adventure) because I was really curious as to how I would handle it. What instincts would kick in? What was the best way to prepare? How fast can I learn? Can I really teach this? Was it bridge too far? Would I flat out flop?
It was curiosity that propelled me past the fear.
I dove in, sifting through all the great resources that the internet has to offer, as well as tapping into the concepts I had accumulated during my business career.
My mind loved it, since of late it was all too accustomed to the focus I had been putting on the concept of More Human Leadership.
I had put myself in a complacency “box”, and as my research for the workshop carried on I realized that I had been in it for far too long.
So to be free of that box, and free to explore new avenues, and then talk out loud about what you’ve learned in front of an audience – well, it was awesome. That intellectual curiosity carried me through, because I had connected to the material and it generated an enthusiastic desire to share it.
Plus, when the audience connected with that enthusiasm, and it cycled back to me, it only made the experience more enjoyable and enriching.
After it was over I recalled a line from Nathan Barry, one of the other Pioneer Nation speakers that had presented earlier in the day.
“The best way to learn is to teach.”
He is SO right.
This us such a valuable lesson, and that’s why I had to sit down and write about it.
Leaders, don’t keep your intellectual curiosity in a box. Let it go out and play, and then kick it up ten notches and share what you’ve learned with your team. Do a “lunch and learn”, for example. Or, share it in other ways – volunteer to speak to a trade association, at a rotary meeting, or some other organization.
Or gather a group of your peers and friends and form a “salon” that purposefully challenges everyone to learn new things.
We have to keep learning, keep growing, and keep challenging ourselves.
Step out of your comfort zone. It will make you a better leader.
And, once you get past the scary part, it’s a total blast.
Thanks to the team at Pioneer Nation for giving me this opportunity, and lead well everyone!