For the past several weeks, leadership dots have been generated by perspectives that I gleaned while traveling to New York City. I filtered my experiences through my own lens and tried to relate them to something that would be of value to my readers, but I wonder what would have stood out from the trip if my travel companions were blog writers. What did they see that I didn’t? How did they make connections that I failed to make?

It reminds me of the artist statement from the 9-11 Museum’s “blue wall” display (see dot 2222). Artist Spencer Finch wrote that the wall of 2,983 blue squares centered on the idea of memory. “What one person perceives as blue might not be the same as what another person sees. Yet, our memories, just like our perception of color, share a common reference.”

Travel – like all new experiences – helps to give context and perspective to that which you may not otherwise see. You don’t know what you don’t know until you see something contrasted with what you have taken for granted: living in a community where everyone speaks English vs. being immersed in the multi-lingual world of NYC, the presumed prevalence of cash until you find yourself in an almost cash-free city, the grandeur of a Broadway show compared to what seemed like a really good community theatre and the pervasiveness of video instead of your customary reliance on print advertising.

Vacation eyes let you see yourself and your environment in ways that staying in your routine cannot. Even if you aren’t able to venture to New York City or an exotic destination, broaden your perspective by getting out of your normal world so you can see what is behind the mirror, not just in front of it.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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