I have been with the adidas Group for almost 17 years now and have worked in Marketing and Sales in several markets and headquarters. Through various positions and locations I learned that moving out of my comfort zone was a great way to explore different fields of work and gain new business skills.

Take a risk and experience the unknown

It all started when I decided to move out of my personal comfort zone to explore the opportunities available in this company. I originally went from Sales and Key Account Management in Australia to Product Marketing. In doing so, I was exposed to another part of the business which allowed me to develop different skills. After this, I took the opportunity to move from Melbourne to Herzogenaurach to become the European Category Merchandising Manager for the Running and Training Business Units.‎ It gave me the chance to work at our headquarters and cross-functionally with senior managers across the organisation. And by working on a big business in an area that was previously unknown to me‎, it really stretched my capacity and taught me a lot.

SEE ALSO: Three things I would have loved to know when I started my career

If you have never done it before, then why not give it a go?

I’ve learned a lot in every position. One key learning is that each time I tried a new role that was in an area I was not experienced in, the skills and abilities I had learned and developed previously served me well in any setting when I trusted my instincts, asked the right questions and had strong support. I learned from doing, from trying, from succeeding, from failing. There are great tools provided by the Group and great people (managers, peers and your direct reports) to learn from. But you have to be proactive. You have to ask for it. And I have found it helps your boss when you identify for yourself what you need to develop and grow.

There are many great opportunities for growth and learning when you keep an open mind

Recently, I was very fortunate to take up the role as Managing Director for the adidas Group in India. Moving away from friends and family to the other side of the world 13 years ago is probably one of the boldest things I ever did in my career. It taught me that sometimes reward comes with sacrifice. That taking chances when they come along is important. There are many great opportunities for growth and learning when you keep an open mind and you look for them. Different locations around the world offer an opportunity to learn and to work with different people and in different cultures.

The passion for sport unites us all!

People come from different backgrounds and have differing perspectives. Although these cultural differences are important and not to be underestimated, there are some things that unite us all. Our passion for sport and for winning is two of these things – especially if you work at a great company like the adidas Group. Whether it’s Rugby in Australia, Football in Europe, Baseball in Japan or Cricket in India, people have great passion for sport no matter where in the world you are. I feel very fortunate to be a part of that every day and to have experienced that over the years with great people and in many different places.

So why not go for it?

Try new things. Extend yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. Be open to new ideas, surroundings, people and ways of doing things. ‎When you fall over, get up and keep moving forward. Take what you do seriously but don’t take yourself too seriously. Love what you do. And never settle for second place!

READ NEXT: Entrepreneurial lessons from the founder of adidas

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by brian 11.02.2015
Great story Dave. Thanks for sharing.
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by Caroline 23.02.2015
great story! I hope I will get the same chance some day to develope myself like u did by moving and trying new things. Thanks for shearing! Greetings from Milan
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by Josita 25.06.2015
I like this blog! Thanks for posting this Mr. Dave! I was able to relate to this because I just recently posted something similar to my blog. Thank you again for sharing the experience! I would to work with the Group someday! :)



Oh btw, if you want to check out my blog here is it - https://ialwaysponder.wordpress.com/2015/06/17/things-i-realized-i-could-get-if-i-stayed-in-my-comfort-zone/



Cheers!
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by Ania 27.06.2015
Subject strongly supported and experienced! Very inspirational story, Dave! Thanks for sharing!
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by Manjunath Bangalore 11.10.2015
Hi Dave, I read your blog. It boosted my confidence ten folds about the brand, Adidas.

Will be there soon. Thank you.

-mbr
Reply
by Emre 04.06.2016
Hi Dave
Thanks for this sharing experience of which I have the similarities both as a sports lover and working also at a sports company and also I went to Bangladesh for 3 years so also as my professional career. And today I am still not IN my comfort zone and do not have any single plan or idea whether I will be IN one day or not because the more you are OUT the better you know your limits.
Take care
EmrE
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