Work for Outsight More than Insight

Leaders are advised to get in touch with themselves through introspection about the past. But the past is not the future. Work for outsight, not insight.  In this video, Herminia Ibarra encourages you to do things that are unusual for you. Make a list of new activities and relationships you will pursue over the next month.

After viewing the video, answer a “Questions to Ask” and select an “Ideas for Action” to incorporate into your routine this week.

Ideas for Action

  • Recognize your past and the place it has in your future. Recall times where you tried new things and met new people. Observe what you learned from these experiences as a means of encouragement for future endeavors.
  • This week, follow Herminia Ibarra’s advice: Make a list of some new activities and some new relationships you want to build up over the next month. Then, be descriptive about what it is you hope to learn and identify ways to make the items in this list happen.
  • After you create a list of new activities and new relationships, open your calendar. Divide up the list of items by effort required and priority. During the first week, work on those items that have the highest priority but require the least effort. During the second week, begin working on those items that require the greatest effort. Divvy up the remaining items across the last two weeks.
  • This week, work for opportunities to initiate new relationships–at the water cooler in the office or across the cheese counter at the grocery store. Start with a simple greeting and then encourage a conversation by initiating small talk such as, “It sure is busy today. How are you holding up?” Be open to what you might learn.

Questions to Ask

  • What are some activities you used to enjoy but no longer have time for? How might you work one or more of these activities into your current schedule?
  • What are the benefits of having leaders who have “outsight”?
  • Are there any costs associated with working to improve your “outsight”? Do the benefits cover the costs?
  • How might you encourage your employees to strengthen their “outsight”?