The Opposite Point of View
I had a chance to spend last week in our Hyderabad, India office--it's the nerve center of our company, where our engineering, services, and support teams all reside. It's cramped right now--we've hired faster than the office can hold people, and we can't get into the new space until January.
But that's not the point of the post--the point is the perspective I got by spending time in another culture and with another set of eyes on what it is we do. And while there's vast areas of overlap, there was also a bunch of whitespace that wasn't--how they service an account in the Philippines from India--something that doesn't touch my daily life in Seattle, for instance. Why the product team put a new feature in for a business in the UK that got priority over one in the US--things like that which made me better understand how vast and sophisticated our fast-growing enterprise actually is.
Of course you don't need to go literally half-way around the world to get this insight--it surely helps to get out of your comfort zone, but it's hardly a requirement. What IS a requirement is to get out and find someone who is looking at things from a different point of view. Understand why these decisions are being made in the field vs. in the comfy environment of the corporate office.
It will make you a better leader, it will make you a better marketers. It will also make you a better person for having spent the time learning, understanding, and appreciating!