Last week a colleague and I ran a three day workshop on transitional leadership. The delegates were all senior managers of the same high technology, multi-national company.  What a great bunch of people. It was a pleasure to coach them. Among the several exercises we asked of them, one was to give a three minute motivational story; the aim of which was to inspire their colleagues to step out of their comfort zones and to try something new.

Bearing in mind the delegates had very little time to prepare, the results were rather impressive. I found myself captured by the passion they displayed while talking on their favorite subjects. This in contrast with the comparative stiffness with which our three days had begun.

Among the activities suggested were: going on a two day per week 500 calorie max diet, playing golf, Jujitsu, paragliding, dismantling and re-assembling an old-timer motorcycle, going to a rock concert of young unknown musicians (cheap beer), joining a fitness club and brewing beer.

And so, four days later, as I sit in Dusseldorf airport on route to Gdansk to give a keynote speech to 200 Polish project managers, I ask myself which of the seven options will I take up when I get home?

Golf has never really been my thing (it rains too often where I live) although the presenter did make it sound appealing. And although the delegate who suggested Jujitsu informed us that while in combat, one’s mind is transported completely away from work (which I am sure it is) I found it not a strong enough argument to risk being physically beaten to a pulp. Call me a wimp but I never have been a fan of getting into arm to arm combat.

Restoring the motorcycle sounded good but I imagined rusted parts, oily hands and the pain of cut knuckles every time the wrench slipped. Paragliding too was attractive and the rock concert sounded like fun, the way the story teller described the uncomfortable feeling of being surrounded by so many young people and how he overcame it to experience a truly memorable night of his life.

Regular readers will know my unsuccessful forays into fitness clubs (your life’s goal, April 2013), so that wasn’t for me. Brewing beer felt like a lot of washing up of old bottles and yeasty smells permeating through the house, and although the 500 calorie two days per week diet sounded exactly what I needed, I must say I felt drawn to the young musicians, after all I was one forty something years ago.

What would you have gone for? And what would you have tried to persuade the team to do, had you been one of the delegates?

Stepping out of one’s comfort zone and trying something new is really recommended and I would, if I didn’t already have far too many hobbies as it is! Luckily for me there is always time for a rock concert with cheap bear!

Have a good week,