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Outsight and Leadership

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Today, many leadership training programs focus specifically on self-knowledge. However, some experts are questioning this model. “My research shows that today’s focus on introspection, reflection and self-knowledge is misguided—if anything it blinds us to the thing that really could help us develop,” Herminia Ibarra, a leadership expert at INSEAD, writes in her book, Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader. Instead, she suggests that executives should use something she has coined “outsight,” or removing yourself from the day-to-day work routine and actively placing yourself in situations and scenarios that will provide a fresh perspective, as well as new information on work, networks, and future potential. Shaking things up in this way may mean passing responsibilities on to subordinates in order to free up time for strategic thinking or meetings with peers inside and outside your company. The distinction here is that change comes from the outside in; by acting differently and changing routines, you can achieve another level of innovation.

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