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Why a road trip might be a good idea for leadership development

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We may be underestimating our leadership skills if we have ever enjoyed a road trip. In fact, most of us would agree that travelling quite often not only helps us gain life experiences, but also sharpens our leadership skills.

CarRentals put a unique twist on understanding lessons on leadership, having created eight leadership lessons that we can learn from the road. Some of these leadership lessons include mapping out a plan, adapting to breakdowns, and working collaboratively with your team.

We must map out and plan our road trips in order for everything to run smoothly, adapt to unexpected outcomes such as running out of gas on the highway, and also communicating with your co-riders to work together to reach your destination.

Check out the infographic below for a light read, and feel free to share it around!

Leadership lessons learned from the road

1. Set a goal: Pick a destination

As a leader, knowing the big picture and having a clear destination allows you to better measure your progress, stay motivated and focus on your end goal. Living in this technologically driven time, we’re usually able to see how many miles and how long it takes to get to a destination.


2. Make a plan: Map your route

A solid plan for a road trip helps you to allocate your resources and figure out how far you can reasonably drive in a day, minimise risks by preparing for what to do in the case of a break-down and set goals and expectations by deciding on where you want to stop.


3. Adapt to problems: Deal with breakdowns

Crises can be categorised into two types: routine and novel. Routine crises are situations that you can plan for, such as a flat tire, whereas novel situations are random, like traffic. Having an empathetic, decisive, adaptable and clearly communicated reaction to these events is key to strong leadership.


4. Communicate clearly: Chat with your passengers

Hitting the road with your friends or partner can be one of the best ways to make lasting memories. When you’re all in the car together you have time to really open up and have great conversations. Being able to communicate clearly can make trip plans less stressful and set expectations early for extra stops.


5. Know when to be patient: Set cruise control

When plans do fall apart, sometimes the best course of action is to wait it out and be patient. A major part of road trips is the spontaneity and the hours of driving through what often feels like nowhere. These moments require a level of patience that can be cultivated into a valuable leadership trait.


6. Embrace cultural differences: Meet the locals

Being open to cultural differences exposes you to new ways of thinking and inviting this mindset can make you more creative and productive. Leaders who embrace cultural diversity increase their team’s engagement, decrease turnover and can even make a higher profit.


7. Balance self reliance and teamwork: Share the driving

Just like the driver steers the car, leaders help steer the company where it needs to go, and they use their team to get there. Only one person can drive at a time, but everyone in the car has a responsibility — whether that’s helping to keep the driver awake, assisting with navigation or playing tunes as the DJ.


8. Own and learn from your mistakes: Wrong turns happen

Everyone makes mistakes, but how you react to them and learn from them can really say a lot about your leadership skills. If you make a wrong turn or run out of gas on the road, learning to pay more attention to the map or the gas gauge can help you avoid those issues again in the future.


All images / CarRentals

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