Not long ago, Sunset Beach (CA) hosted their annual arts & crafts fair on the narrow grassy area between Pacific Coast Highway and the beach front homes. It is a local family event and the furthest most people might travel is 5 or 10 miles to attend. Interestingly, Sandra Bullock and Jessie James (hopefully you have heard of these 2 very different, but married celebrities) are locals to the immediate area and joined in the festivities. What struck me about seeing them in the crowd was how well they fit in. They did not want, or get, any special attention from anyone. They enjoyed themselves as simply as we all do.
There is a leadership lesson about perception, remaining true to one’s self and being fearful of isolation in this observation. Months ago on the LifeAtBoeing blog, Brian talked about how reserved parking for executives could create isolation if not realized. As we progress in our professional careers, we need to maintain a self-awareness of who we are, what is important to us and how it all relates to the expectations of the positions we hold. If we accept a job, we need to do what it takes to be successful. At the same time, we need to remain “real” people and not be consumed with the title and trappings. Don’t lose site of what made you successful in the first place.
What other similar experiences do you believe we need to be aware of to avoid isolation?