LCP LCP LCP
Skip to content

pebble-stack_XJX4rE-2

Note: This is one blog post in our Season of Leadership series. Read about winter and spring, and keep an eye out for additional posts in 2024. 

Summer's here, and for many people it's a time to relax. Summer can also be an opportune time for self-reflection and personal development, whether you are new to your leadership development journey or a leader who has been in the field for decades.

Many summer activities can contribute to your development as a leader, should you have the time, the funds, and the ability to take a breather from the typical nine-to-five schedule. Here are but some.

Travel:

In this 2015 piece at Fast Company, Bruce Poon Tip, founder of the adventure travel company G Adventures, writes about how travel has shaped his style of management. "Travel opens your mind to think of new possibilities and new ways you can do things," he writes. It provides windows into the ways that other countries and cultures work to achieve a common goal. This exposure to diverse cultures and ways of life invites leaders to creatively apply those learnings to their own growth.

And travel for Poon Tip isn't just giant pool floats and inflatable drink holders. For him, travel pushes boundaries by building tolerance to risk. In writing about the leadership lessons learned from camping in the Sahara or trekking through a jungle, he adds: "I'm always pushing [my company] to be just a bit out of our comfort zone, because I never want us to sit back and stop innovating."

AdobeStock_362958292

Outdoor Adventures:

Hiking, camping, mountain biking, rafting: Activities like these not only send you to the cupboard to check the expiration date on last year's bug repellent; they also present opportunities to challenge yourself, share a strategy and vision with others, face your fears, improve your communication, and aim for success. Leading a team or being part of a team in an outdoor setting can develop your teamwork and decision-making skills — and teach you the need for agility.

Two bonuses: Being in nature can enhance your creativity and sense of well-being.

hiking-scene-with-silhouette-people-walking_rP5eCH1OnMg

Volunteering and Community Engagement:

In a recent blog post about the importance of the balcony perspective, Insight Experience's Bethany Bremer wrote about how taking time to engage in acts of service can be rewarding. "Getting out from behind the desk to wash dogs at the local shelter, coach your kid’s soccer team, or offer career advice to college kids," she wrote, "can lead to new connections and ideas that the view of your computer screen never could."

Participating in volunteer work, which a more relaxed summer schedule can often accommodate, is also a good way to develop leadership abilities: It allows for the development or fine-tuning of such skills as empathy and problem-solving. It can also help improve your time management (learning to juggle priorities related to work, family, and volunteering); provide opportunities for mentoring; expand your network opportunities by asking you to step out of your usual work circles and introducing you to people from other fields; and, as Lisa Book writes, get you out of your comfort zone by challenging you to explore new surroundings. And as Bethany notes, often an act of service will provide additional clarity on why we do the work we do, which can be an invigorating reminder.

volunteer-1413657

Professional Development Opportunities and Leadership Workshops:

Leadership skills training, particularly (but not solely) for emerging leaders, encourages managers and leaders to challenge themselves by learning innovative ways to develop and manage people; identifying the kinds of leaders they want to become (and considering how they want to get there); building self-confidence; and clarifying vision.

If your organization offers leadership development opportunities during the summer, such as workshops or seminars, take advantage of them, particularly if your work pace tends to decelerate during summer months. Such sessions provide networking opportunities and access to experts in your field, and they can deeper your understanding of leadership concepts and skills.

AdobeStock_351220436

Moments of Quiet Self-Reflection: 

Summer can be an ideal time for personal growth and introspection. The down time of these summer months are perfect for relaxing and recharging, and maybe simultaneously you can reflect on your leadership goals and your action plan for achieving them.

Cultivate habits that promote this kind of self-reflection — maybe journaling or meditation is your thing, and throw in a hammock if you have one — and be open to continuous learning.

hand-crop

As author E.B. White once noted, summertime, unfortunately, cannot last forever. But as you embrace the bright, blazing, sun-kissed days of the season while they're here, consider recognizing their leadership development potential. Leadership is a journey — and an adventure — and the summer months can be ripe for taking steps toward new learning.

Just don't forget your sunscreen and shades.

Subscribe to Our Blog

Let's Talk

We'd love to hear about your leadership development goals.

Leave Comment

Recent Posts

Game Plan: What Board Games Teach Us About Business Strategy-featured-image
Game Plan: What Board Games Teach Us About Business Strategy
Click to view Game Plan: What Board Games Teach Us About Business Strategy

Remember when board games were all about racing to a finish line (like Trouble) or sabotaging your opponent...

Category:-  Featured , Executing Strategy

Learn More Click to view blog post
What Is a Leadership Simulation?-featured-image
What Is a Leadership Simulation?
Click to view What Is a Leadership Simulation?

In today’s interconnected global economy, leadership is a key differentiator. Leaders are expected to...

Category:-  Featured , Business Simulation , Leadership

Learn More Click to view blog post
4 Ways to Extend Your Leadership Training Into Daily Work-featured-image
4 Ways to Extend Your Leadership Training Into Daily Work
Click to view 4 Ways to Extend Your Leadership Training Into Daily Work

After completing a leadership simulation, you might find yourself asking: What comes next? The transition...

Category:-  Featured , Business Simulation , Leadership

Learn More Click to view blog post
Leading With Care: 7 Mental Health Strategies for Leaders-featured-image
Leading With Care: 7 Mental Health Strategies for Leaders
Click to view Leading With Care: 7 Mental Health Strategies for Leaders

I was once in a meeting where one of my colleagues started crying. It was nothing dramatic. In fact, most...

Category:-  Featured , Leadership

Learn More Click to view blog post
Who Are You? Unlocking Self-Aware Leadership-featured-image
Who Are You? Unlocking Self-Aware Leadership
Click to view Who Are You? Unlocking Self-Aware Leadership

Tune in to any leadership book, podcast, or workshop, and chances are it’s about doing leadership: how to...

Category:-  Featured , Leadership

Learn More Click to view blog post
Spring Is in the Air: Lighten Up Your Leadership Journey-featured-image
Spring Is in the Air: Lighten Up Your Leadership Journey
Click to view Spring Is in the Air: Lighten Up Your Leadership Journey

Note: This is one blog post in our Season of Leadership series. Read about winter and summer, and keep an eye...

Category:-  Featured , Leadership

Learn More Click to view blog post
Leveraging Decision Data for Organizational Excellence-featured-image
Leveraging Decision Data for Organizational Excellence
Click to view Leveraging Decision Data for Organizational Excellence

How does your organization quantify leadership effectiveness beyond subjective self-assessment reports and...

Category:-  Featured , Business Simulation , Leadership

Learn More Click to view blog post
Leadership Illuminated: A Q&A With Women Shaping the Future-featured-image
Leadership Illuminated: A Q&A With Women Shaping the Future
Click to view Leadership Illuminated: A Q&A With Women Shaping the Future

Four years ago, just before heading back to work after the birth of my second child, I spoke to my close...

Category:-  Featured , Leadership

Learn More Click to view blog post
Digital Handshakes: Embracing Virtual Networking-featured-image
Digital Handshakes: Embracing Virtual Networking
Click to view Digital Handshakes: Embracing Virtual Networking

In today's evolving professional landscape, virtual networking has become vital for corporate leaders looking...

Category:-  Featured , Leadership

Learn More Click to view blog post
Your Guide to Bringing Strategic Leadership to Life, Part 2-featured-image
Your Guide to Bringing Strategic Leadership to Life, Part 2
Click to view Your Guide to Bringing Strategic Leadership to Life, Part 2

Back in September, in a blog post titled "Your Guide to Bringing Strategic Leadership to Life," I explored...

Category:-  Featured , Business Simulation

Learn More Click to view blog post