It’s been said that travel is good for the soul, but in my opinion, it’s also good for business. Certainly, business travel is often necessary on the job, and making the deal on the road is good for business. But that’s not the only kind of travel that benefits the bottom line. If you truly want to WOW on the job, personal “pleasure” vacationing helps you expand your horizons, change your perspective, and gain new insight into who you are as a person and a leader.

Having been in the business industry for decades, I’ve learned that WOW leaders are few and far between–but they ARE out there. Bosses, team leaders, and supervisors are the ones who tell us what to do and how to do it–and often, we fear them more than we like them. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Leaders can be motivators, advocates, and inspirations to us, driving us to be our best and happily do our best work–but only if they themselves are a WOW. The question, of course, is HOW do leaders find their inner WOW?

There are many ways to tap into the WOW within–and good leaders do their best to explore them all. But it’s not just on the corporate level where improvements can be made. If you’re a WOW in your life, a WOW in your family, and a WOW to yourself, only then can you bring that WOW into the office and lead others to do the same. Travel helps you do just that. When you see the WOW that’s in the world, it helps you see yourself in a whole new light–and that, in turn, helps you be a better boss.

At the core of WOW leadership is an innate moral soundness. You’ll never be a WOW if your motivations are greedy, self-serving, and dishonest. But being a good leader takes even more than being a good person, it takes understanding the people you are leading. Traveling is a way to explore new sights, new cultures, and new people. It helps you reign in your ego and look outside yourself-qualities which help facilitate WOW leadership.

Traveling for the sake of traveling also helps you relieve stress, relax, and recharge your batteries so you’ll be better equipped to handle workplace issues in a WOW manner. For me, getting away to Hawaii helps me breathe a little deeper, feel a little freer, and see another side of living that doesn’t include schedules, deadlines, and quotas. Seeing the plume of smoke from a Big Island caldera or watching a colorful rainbow emerge over a rainforest waterfall puts me in a new frame of mind. What I see, what I feel, and what I experience on vacation changes me for the better. And as a result, I bring those changes back to the office. Travel feeds the soul–and the soul feeds success–on both a personal and a business level. Go explore the world–see WOW, and be WOW!

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