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How often do you find business lessons in unconventional places?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How often do you find business lessons in unconventional places?

  • Always — I see business lessons in all aspects of everyday life: 59%
  • Sometimes — The occasional lesson shows up in daily life: 38%
  • Rarely — It’s not at all often I find business lessons in my daily life: 3%
  • Never — Business is business. Life is life. They don’t intersect.: 0%.

Lessons surround us. Just because something isn’t directly related to your work doesn’t mean you can’t learn something from it. Everyday life offers a myriad of lessons if we’re just willing to look. The harder you look, the more you’ll learn. Actively thinking about your business and your work and trying to link seemingly unrelated lessons to it is a vehicle for creativity and insight. You might be surprised by some of the interesting places you can learn things that will inform your perspective on your business. Pause. Take a look around. Ask what you can learn in that very moment. The answers might pleasantly surprise you.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s the author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box,” and “The Elegant Pitch.”