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Bring your #wholeself to work: superpowers of explorers

Welcome to Part 4 of a series all about bringing your #wholeself to work. Read part 1 (on athletes) over here ; Part 2 (on parents) over here ; and Part 3 (on artists) over here

Work is full of its own special kind of tension. We want to make processes and procedures repeatable, to save time and reduce the need for detours.

But sometimes we unearth our best ideas during detours.

In this #wholeself series, we’re uncovering the superpowers you have already developed outside of work, and inviting them to take a seat inside of work. We’ve talked about your athletic life, your parenting life, your artist life. And you may relate to those in varying degrees, depending on the day or decade.

Next up, your explorer life. I know you’ve done this in some sense and at some stage. EVEN IF most of your exploration was restricted to your residence these last few panini (pandemic) years… you’ve got an explorer’s spirit somewhere in there. Here are three superpowers it lends, and how to bring them to work.

Explorers are knowledgeable

Ever noticed how seeing a new place or doing a new thing is expansive? Even if that’s a different grocery store, each place the explorer visits leaves a mark on their perspective. Let’s leave aside the obvious: that if you travel to far away places, you’ll come back changed, and with greater knowledge. Let’s deal instead with the micro climate of your workplace.

What would happen if you explored in these ways?

  • Two words: field trip
  • Be a silent guest at the regular meeting of another group in your organization
  • Facilitate cross-company knowledge sharing by inviting folks from different areas to share their work
  • Start a committee to come up with the best way to build and share knowledge
  • Focus on learning

Explorers stay open

It’s pretty draining to keep exploring when you’re closed off to new experiences. Explorers, by definition, must stay open. Otherwise, you will miss things. Observe your surroundings. Let judgment take a back seat.

What would happen if you explored in these ways?

  • Create a regularly recurring meeting where every team member gets two minutes to present their ideas
  • Use this phrase more often: “how can we do this better?”
  • Invite input from unexpected places
  • Set aside time to work on a project that might not go anywhere but really excites you
  • Revisit the cutting room floor for something you can repurpose

Explorers seek adventure

Ah, adventure. My children want to hang upside down on the monkey bars, then leap over the creek, then jump off the swing. They are not afraid of injury or failure, only the rush of possibility. This is adventure. Of course at work, we need to choose our moments. But somewhere in your day or your week, there is a place for it.

What would happen if you explored in these ways?

  • Try something new, period
  • Surprise yourself
  • Surprise your team
  • Test a limit
  • Redefine a limit
  • Eliminate a limit
  • Take a risk

You, my fierce and courageous reader, are an explorer. Be daring with your working life. Take the detour, and see what happens. Then comment below or DM me over here and tell me all about it.

I’m cheering you on.

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