There is much to be said about the ability to think from “outside-in” as a leader. Leaders who are able to focus on the effects of events on all stakeholders are without doubt the most effective, especially in times of crisis.
Saying this, the leap from inside-out i.e. “how does this affect me, how will I be perceived, what will my peers think, am I an effective leader, how am I going to get through this?” to outside-in is only possible once you know yourself and can get yourself out of the way!
It’s a little like public speaking. To begin with, most of us are concerned with ourselves. “I can’t breathe, my palms are sweaty, my heart is racing, will I remember my words, will they like me, am I going to make a complete ass out of myself, what if I drop my crib notes, what if they walk out mid speech..?” And on it goes. The voice in our head is full of doubt, full of ego, identity, of self.
And as we master the art of speaking, we gain confidence. We begin to be concerned with our audience. “What do I need to do to connect with each and every person in the room, how can I deliver a powerful ‘take-away’, what value can I impart, how can I inspire, motivate, inform, educate and/or entertain?” We shift from inside-out to outside-in thinking, being and doing. And that’s a beautiful place to be.
So make the leap, take the chance, dive in, risk it and get going. We can only be in this incredible space by giving it our all and learning from our near misses and greatest successes along route. Afterall, there is no static destination, only a rich, varied and eventful journey.