August 30, 2016 Getting Out There – More and Different Energy Outside the C-Suite
In the boardroom, you only get some of what you need to know. The other execs in the C-suite have valuable knowledge and insights, but like you, they’re often insulated from the real world. And your staff, with good intentions, controls the daily flow of information to you. It’s not until you get outside your ivory tower that you see the whole picture. The world changes, you meet different people and get information from new sources. This is what leadership is all about: getting out there on the front line.
On the front line, you get higher quality, not just quantity, of information. You get insights from people with different experiences and points of view based on what they do. It’s bias-free. You’ll hear something that piques your curiosity and causes you to ask new questions. Sometimes it makes you question your own assumptions. That’s good, because you got your original information in one way. This new information tells another side of the story, brings in another opinion and lets you see the situation from a new angle, without the original filter.
Getting out there on the front line also fuels your curiosity. You get answers, plus the opportunity to make curiosity itself valued in your company. You can say, “I’m curious,” and make it part of the vocabulary and culture.
For me personally, there’s a lot of value in the search. There’s never enough time, yet when I take a few minutes to engage people, I feel energized, enlightened and informed. I’ve tapped into unfiltered value, sometimes superior to what I’ve gotten in the C-suite.
Diverse data and opinions strengthen our decisions and how we explain them. They add context and depth, which really helps when you need to explain something or justify what needs to happen next.
When you get information from different sources, it brings authenticity to what you say. Knowing you were willing to get out there to see what others think makes people listen, learn and act on your insights. You are credible. And nothing matters more than that.