Advertising
Advertising

8 Reasons Why Adventurous People Are To Be World-Class Leaders

8 Reasons Why Adventurous People Are To Be World-Class Leaders

The spirit of adventure has been inside every great leader in history. Great achievers like Queen Elizabeth and Steve Jobs; along with movers and shakers like Lady Gaga and Walt Disney, all share a common thread: they weren’t afraid to try something new.

To succeed in life and lead others you must acquire, possess, and maintain an adventurous attitude. Even if you’re afraid to eat at new restaurants and try new foods, or you’d rather die than embarrass yourself in public; you can still learn to be adventurous!

You don’t have to do something that scares you every day (as Eleanor Roosevelt suggested), but you have to get over your fears eventually. Stepping outside of your comfort zone on most days is a good place to start. Consider the following traits of adventurous people to learn why they make phenomenal leaders.

They Have a Vision

Walt Disney believed in his dreams, in spite of a world that told him he was crazy. He knew that it was his optimism and persistence in pursuing the things he had dreamed about that was behind his great success. As he said, “The more a vision can be expressed in a vivid, imaginative way, the more it will motivate people to action in the present.”

Advertising

They Do Not Conform

Lady Gaga did not try to imitate or emulate anyone. She wasn’t afraid to go against the norms. She credits these facts with leading to her success. She set standards for herself and ignored naysayers. By trusting her instincts and refusing to conform, the bullied girl that felt out of place as a youth became one of the best-selling musicians of all time, breaking records that no one but herself thought she would break.

Gaga holds 13 Guinness World Records, 6 Grammy Awards, and a Songwriter’s Hall of Fame Contemporary Icon Award (the first ever recipient). She was also listed by TIME as one of the most influential people of the decade in 2013.

They Aren’t Afraid of a Challenge

Peter Dinklage plays Tyrion on HBO’s wildly popular Game of Thrones. He was never afraid to face a new challenge. Born with achondroplasia (a form of dwarfism), Dinklage faced many challenges on his way to becoming an award-winning actor. He credits his sense of humor and natural optimism with readying him for the many obstacles that would come between him and becoming a star.

Dinklage was not afraid to do things others said he couldn’t do – such as becoming a leading actor at only 4-feet, five-inches tall. He knew that without risk there could be no success. He embraced the challenge and succeeded.

Advertising

They Are Independent Thinkers

Charles Darwin, the father of evolutionary theory, was expelled from school at 16 for laziness and lack of original thought. Despite his teacher’s disdain for him, Darwin trusted his own judgement and his ability to figure things out independent of other people’s beliefs.

His independent thinking led him to revolutionary insights into the process of Natural Selection and the nature of life on the planet. His Origin of the Species was published in 1859 amid great controversy, but has consequently changed how we all see the world.

They Radiate Persuasiveness

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computers, was able to convince the world that they could not possibly live without a personal computer. He was able to sweet talk people into following his vision of the future. To become a leader like Jobs, you must be able to win trust and influence the actions of others through sheer force of will.

They Have a Natural Sense of Wanderlust

Padma Lakshmi was always curious about the world around her. She was anxious to see it. Despite a devastating car accident that left her horribly scarred, Padma had a desire to travel the world as a model.

Advertising

Many powerful agents told her that she had little chance of succeeding in the modeling world without major reconstructive surgery. Without any major operations – but with a heart that longed to explore – she not only became a model, but she also became an actor, author and successful television host.

The lesson here? Don’t be like the absurd amount of Americans who don’t take their paid vacation every year. Soak in everything you can from your experiences as you roam away from home.

They Are Courageous and Determined

Tina Fey had the courage to step outside of her comfort zone and become a performer. She is now one of the most successful writers and actors in television and films. Fey is best known for her roles on Saturday Night Live, Thirty Rock and as writer of the feature film Mean Girls.

Her original desire to write comedy was soon abandoned as she realized that she must step in front of the camera to live the life she dreamed. She was bold enough to quell her anxieties, get over her stage fright and achieve the success she craved.

Advertising

They Have No Regrets

Bethany Hamilton lost her arm to a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing in Hawaii when she was just thirteen years old. She refused to dwell on her misfortune and had absolutely no regrets about what befell her.She returned to surfing within a month of losing her arm and won a National Surfing title just over a year later.

Adventure comes to those who look for it and embrace it. You can adopt an adventurous spirit even if you’re not among the lucky few who were born with the trait. You can train yourself to be adventurous by opening your mind to new possibilities.

I leave you with the following two reminders. 1: Step outside your comfort zone at every turn. 2: Take every possible opportunity for adventure that presents itself.

Featured photo credit: Pete R. via photos.bucketlistly.com

More by this author

Anum Yoon

Writer & Journalist

Taxes: 10 Terms You Should Know If You Want to File By Yourself This Year Weird Laws Around the World That You’ve Never Heard Of Six Unconventional Ways to Become a Homeowner 10 Underrated Netflix Movies And Shows To Binge Watch During The Cold Weather Can Self-Driving Cars Be Ethical?

Trending in Communication

1 15 Inspiring Ideas to Boost Your Motivation for Success 2 How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success 3 How to Turn Your Fear of Missing Out into a Joy of Missing Out 4 What Is Resilience and Why Is It Important? 5 Positive Motivation vs Negative Motivation: Which One Is Better?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

Advertising

Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

Advertising

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

Advertising

3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

Advertising

5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

Read Next