There exists an ancient phrase that essentially says, and I’m paraphrasing, “wherever you sit determines how you see the world.” It’s a philosophical saying that holds a lot of meaning, and one that should be carefully considered for professionals in the world of business.
This can be taken both literally and figuratively for business leaders. For one, consider your physical location. If you are working in New York City for example, you’re likely to consider every decision you make from that perspective, and how it relates to and benefits NYC in general. Your point of view can be narrowed if you are not actively paying attention to your decision-making.
The problem that this poses is that when making decisions from a regional type of a view, you are not taking the bigger picture into consideration. Other areas may actually be damaged by how you operate within a confined space. Similarly, you could be missing out on opportunities that present themselves upon thinking outside the box, or quite literally, traveling to other locations.
In order to best develop this diverse mindset, there are plenty of obvious strategies you can implement. One is getting your news from as many sources as you can. Just because you live in New York does not mean that The New York Times is your only media outlet. Consider subscribing to other national publications, or downloading a news app on your tablet or smartphone. Utilizing sources from all over the world (not just the United States) can greatly broaden your knowledge of current events, as well as a unique perspective on certain stories.
Though traveling is very beneficial in expanding your general knowledge, simply doing so without networking would be a waste. Attend conferences in a new area and explore the city or town you are staying in. Obtaining a better understanding of a different culture can open your eyes to a new world of opportunity. In terms of business, there are international business organizations you can explore to make even more professional connections.
Reading books has been proven to boost cognitive ability. Try to read a new book on business once a month, or once every few if time is a constraint. This can also give you a new way of thinking or approaching a situation. Tapping into the minds of extremely successful CEOs through written word is a great idea on paper (no pun intended), and in reality. Depending on each subject, you can learn a wealth of knowledge from one book alone.
Learning a new language is yet another great way to delve into a new culture and gain new perspectives. This can take you out of your comfort zone when communicating with someone fluent in the language you are learning, which can teach you a lot about yourself as well, i.e. how you act under pressure, or how you deal with stress. Once you’ve mastered a second language, your confidence may be boosted tremendously, translating to how you operate within your regular working hours, how you communicate with others, and how you approach difficult situations.
Staying local when conducting business is something comfortable for almost everyone. While there are certainly benefits to this, those that come with experiencing new ventures far exceed them. Develop a mindset that takes into consideration every facet of your business, on both a micro and macro level.