Leaving Our Comfort Zone

A woman called from Europe.  Seven years ago, she was in an executive group that invited me to speak.  I taught them how to enter the fundamental state of leadership.  The lesson had great impact.  A few weeks later, she was offered a position in China.  It was something she would never have considered.  Because of the talk she decided to take the job.  She set the goal to make the China adventure a positive learning experience.  She also determined to lose weight.

The China experience served to catapult her to a leading position in a company that was committed to grow in Asia.   Her career took a new trajectory.  In the last seven years she was held positions she never dreamed she could hold.

In the meantime, she lost a massive amount of weight.  This altered her perception of herself.  As she recounted this, she talked a lot about discovering her own potential and therefore learning to see the potential in others.

She told me she was now ready to leave the company and start her own executive coaching enterprise.  She wondered if I could help her think about it.  I asked her, in one sentence, to tell me her greatest strength.  She went quiet for a long time.  Then she said.  “My greatest strength is seeing the potential in other people and helping them identify three things they can do to tap and realize that potential.”

With that as a focus, we spent the next half hour conceptualizing how she could build a business around her strength.  The strategy was demanding because it required her to go outside of her comfort zone and run new experiments.  This did not scare her.  She was so committed to her purpose that exercising faith was not a fearful thing.  She was willing to learn her way into a new life.



  • List the ways she went out of her comfort zone.
  • Why did she do so?
  • What were the payoffs?
  • How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?

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