OKC | Johnson City | Charlotte | Farmville | Indianapolis | Columbia | Charlotte | Milwaukee
It’s been a little over three weeks since I packed up my suitcase, waved goodbye to family and friends, and took a step away from everything that seemed familiar.
As I’ve made my journey across seven states, one word has continued to cross my mind which I feel is worth mentioning:
Simply put – the process of change, growth and adjustment.
Being a consultant requires me to be in a constant state of acclimation. Every 5 days, I hop on a plane and arrive to a new space. I am greeted with new faces, new sights, and a new place to call home. For a few short days, I am a guest in someone else’s familiarity.
I believe acclimation is one of the messiest parts of leadership. It’s uncomfortable. For days or weeks at a time, our body and brain work overtime to make sense of our new environment. We seek to relate the new with the old, and grasp for a sense of order and control.
I’ve often heard this process referred to as the stretch zone. It’s the place where your ideas, your routine and your perceptions are challenged. The moments where your expectations are removed from your imagination and laid out for you to see in vivid clarity.
Although this process is challenging and even frightening at times, I think we as humans often forget that acclimation is a part of our biological makeup. Given enough time in the new space, the struggle ceases. We begin to find our way. Looking back, I’ve realized I’ve jumped the wall I was once afraid to climb.
To all of you looking to be leaders in your own corners of the world, I encourage you to look at the last time you immersed yourself in the unfamiliar. It is here you will discover where your strengths truly lie.
Stretch. You’ll be glad you did.