Jullien Gordon on Ways to Make Work Trips More Rewarding

In Chapter 10 of 21 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, business coach Jullien Gordon answers "What Have You Found Most Rewarding About Traveling to New Places?"  Gordon notes how he focuses on breaking bread with friends when traveling across the United States for his work.  He places a priority on staying with friends and having personal time as well as digging into local cultures and the traditions and values that differentiate them.  Jullien Gordon is a high performance coach and consultant to organizations, individuals and teams who want to increase employee performance, motivation, engagement and retention.  He earned a BA from UCLA, an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a Masters of Education from Stanford University.


Erik Michielsen: What have you found most rewarding about traveling to new places?

Jullien Gordon: I’ve been to I think about 40 states in the United States. The most beautiful thing about traveling to different places is hearing different people’s stories based on where they grew up and just seeing how much a region or an environment can actually shape the way someone thinks about the world. I also love being able to connect with all my friends who are all over the country and all over the world when I travel certain places. If I don’t have to stay in a hotel, I am willing to sleep on a friend’s couch, more importantly not because of the comfort but because I get to connect with them. And whenever I stay with a friend, I always take them out to dinner. I’m not paying for a hotel but I pay to have their presence at dinner. And so that’s one thing that I love, being able to give to them and contribute to them and just share in their presence once again. Whether we met in college, whether we met a long time ago, it’s just good to be in their presence again.

One of my metrics for success is breaking bread with people, and so when I’m coming to a town, I reach out to whoever I know there and who I want to reconnect with. And that becomes an opportunity for us and I’ve been fortunate because my work has allowed me to travel to amazing places all across the United States. Two of my favorite places happen to be Charleston, South Carolina and New Orleans. The reason I love those places is because despite consumer culture, they’ve been able to preserve their original authentic cultures. Like you don’t go there and see a whole bunch of multinational companies. You see small little businesses, and authentic architecture and design, and dialect and ways of living. Like if you’ve never seen a funeral in New Orleans then you are missing out. I mean they turn those into parades. And so—and then of course, authentic cuisine. And so those have been some of my favorite things about traveling to new places.