Overview: Intelligent leaders who think about the future of their organizations and careers know how to keep themselves busy discovering new opportunities and mastering new skills. Challenging themselves by taking chances, brainstorming, and venturing into unfamiliar territory, they remain relevant while supporting the interests of organizations. Leadership coaching can help leaders find the most rewarding activities.
When successful leaders evolve and scale past the point of being directly involved in the day-to-day grind, they get the time to think about and plot their futures and the futures of their organizations. How can leaders make the best use of this time?
From the perspective of leadership coaching, this situation is ideal. Not only does the coach get a willing client, but there are few time constraints to progress. By reaching out to a coach and embarking on a journey of evolution, leaders can ensure their organizations always have room for their skills.
Finding Activities that Support Leadership
In life, we enjoy some activities to the point of mastery. When achieving said mastery, we get so involved in the activity that nothing else matters. During such moments, we’re at our most productive in whatever we do.
Picking activities focusing on new leadership skills and opportunities makes sense for those looking to sharpen their abilities.
Risk and novelty can arouse interest and direct attention. Risk is why some people find gambling so addictive, and we all appreciate novelty now and then.
We all have inspirational figures from whom we draw motivation. In the arena of busy leadership, anyone can become a source of inspiration for someone else without one person knowing the other and vice-versa. Leaders who have “mentors” that don’t know them may want to reach out and perhaps spark conversations.
Cold contacting someone is always a high-risk move, but the opportunities it creates are limitless.
Some leaders prefer to cold contact people from tangential industries to plot disruptive change together.
The beauty of this risk-focused approach is it creates equally attractive opportunities for both parties. Leaders who feel adventurous may even reach out to senior leaders of competing organizations to create partnership opportunities.
Shaking Up the Mundane
Sometimes, doing something unexpected and out-of-the-ordinary can be as exciting as assuming risk. Holding a meeting in an unexpected location like a park or museum is one way to lend a twist to an otherwise mundane activity.
Shaking up the schedule can provide unique glimpses into how well leaders can handle their work at unusual times. These experiments may yield interesting results, prompting leaders to rethink schedules, attitudes to work, and how they handle change.
An interesting experiment every leader should try is to challenge themselves to listen to new ideas. We often become entrenched in our ways and fail to consider that useful ideas can come from anyone, especially in out-of-the-ordinary contexts.
Not all ideas may be usable in their original forms, but they may lead to other implementable ideas.
Brainstorming Hypothetical Scenarios
Stepping away and looking at their business from a bird’s eye perspective is another experiment leaders should try. Few may think about creating an exit plan or having to sell their company unexpectedly.
Disruption is another hypothetical scenario that can give leaders ideas on how to set up contingency measures and future-proof their organizations.
Now and then, leaders who can afford to spend time thinking about the future of their organizations may want to surprise themselves by doing something unexpected. Reading a few leadership-focused articles and blog posts, watching YouTube videos, exploring trends they don’t yet understand, or reading biographies of leaders they admire are all activities that may open opportunities or spark ideas.
Executive coaching always stresses to leaders the importance of embracing change and acting as its advocate. Sometimes, taking a step back and doing something random can spark change better than intentionally chasing it.