By Michael Gunther
I don’t know about you, but I recognize that I can be so focused on the day-to-day activities at my business while trying to push new strategies that I lose perspective on what may be preventing our team from moving forward. The 16th century adage “can’t see the forest for the trees” is what always comes to mind when I reflect on this situation. The ironic thing is that our firm is hired to assist business owners who are struggling with the same phenomenon. So, I truly understand the value of bringing in an “outsider” to gain a new perspective.
It takes courage for business owners to realize that they don’t have all the answers. As a leader, there can be a false perception that you must have all the answers, so why would you need to gain insight from someone else? On the contrary, the strongest leaders understand the value of hiring experts to assist them, both in their own development and for the growth of their organization.
I have seen many leaders attend seminars, read the latest management books or participate in industry conferences trying to acquire a new approach or look for a solution to challenges they are facing. These venues for learning are valuable, but they typically won’t get to the root of what may be preventing the business from achieving the results the leader desires. It is like getting a tune-up on your car to improve your driving experience, when the issue is actually the driver who needs a new viewpoint or focus to improve the direction the car is heading.
Education is one part of the equation to gaining a new perspective, but there are typically two bigger hurdles that must also be factored in. One is receiving feedback from your team and, potentially, an “outsider” to provide a more well-rounded view of what is or isn’t working within your organization. The second hurdle is implementation, and it is frequently the one where I think leaders are most vulnerable. Most leaders have a sense of what may or not be working, but the most difficult aspect of change is trying to figure out how to adjust your style, strategies and behaviors to achieve the intended outcomes.
It is this implementation part of the equation where the “outsider” perspective can bring the greatest value. An outsider can help you identify issues and offer recommendations for change, but their greatest value is in assisting with the implementation of your journey. Through this journey, behaviors and strategies will develop and strengthen, allowing you to achieve bigger goals.
Is it time to receive a new perspective on your business and your role as a leader? The greatest athletes and leaders often have “outsiders” guide them on improving and enhancing their performance. Are you up for the challenge to reach a new level of performance? If so, be open to gaining insight from an outside perspective to get there faster and stronger.