I like to spend a lot of my time talking to my senior team (there are only 3 of us), my staff and our customers. When I’m speaking with my team I talk a lot about them pushing themselves out of their comfort zones. Last week one of my team turned around and challenged me on this, they said, ‘why do you do this, push us out of our comfort zones, can’t we just work where we are happy and get the job done’. Never being one to be fazed or disgruntled when challenged, in fact I actively encourage people to challenge me as this is where some of the best ideas come from. I took a breath and replied.
‘There is nothing wrong with working inside your comfort zones and staying there for the next 20, 30, 40 years of your working life, nothing wrong with it at all. But our business, is an entrepreneurial led business; ideas are generated from the bottom to the top and everybody has an opportunity to play a key role in the business. The reason I like to put everybody, including myself out of their comfort zones is quite simply, this is where we learn.’
Partially agreeing with me, with some curious nods, I continued to explain…
‘While you may feel uncomfortable about this, it’s helping you to grow and you’re doing a great job. You’re 20 years old, and 12 months ago you wouldn’t have challenged me, in public or behind closed doors, now a year on you’re here in front of the whole team challenging the CEO, why? Because your confident to do so, a confidence that’s been learnt, developed and grown in the past year from working here, from being put outside your comfort zone. Your growing and I’m very proud to be a part of that growth and I will continue to push and support that.’
I truly believe in this, that its outside our comfort zones where we learn about ourselves, and it’s how we develop into stronger people, both personally and in business.