It used to be something I looked forward to, but now I tend to think more about the expense, the noise, and the sore feet than the wonders of the world’s greatest city.
And then last week I took my daughter Holly to New York as a gift for her 13th birthday. And I saw the city again for the very first time.
For Holly, everything was an adventure and a wonder and a marvel. The crowds, the cabs, the smells of the subway at rush hour.
We walked for hours and for miles. We ate stinky street food and shi-shi sushi. Had lunch in Chinatown and canolis in Little Italy. Bought gifts in SoHo and trinkets in Times Square. Admired Van Gogh at the MOMA, and graffiti in Korea Town.
And it was All. Freaking. Awesome.
I really didn’t think I ever needed to see another Broadway musical, or stand in line for two hours to get to look at Central Park from the top of Rockefeller Center, or walk through Times Square at 10 o’clock on a Friday night.
But I did. I’d never actually seen those things at all.
I share all of this because I hope it will remind you, like it did me, just how easy it is to become cynical. To lose our sense of wonder. To forget that the things we see and do every day are actually pretty cool.
As leaders, we have to align our employees around shared goals, meaningful work, and imagined futures. We have to paint pictures, create wonders, draw connections.
It’s hard to do that when you no longer see it yourself. When you’ve become cynical, jaded, or maybe just tired.
Find a way to do the equivalent of taking a 13-year-old girl to New York. Find a way to see your work and the world through fresh eyes.