How can you be a bold leader?11 Aug 2016
Bold leaders make broad changes that lead to big successes. This truth reverberates in multinationals, but how is it relevant if you are at the helm of a small business or even leading a team?
In a 2016 article from McKinsey & Company, researchers Michael Birshan, Thomas Meakin and Kurt Strovink found an interesting link between corporate leaders’ and what defines their success. Over the 10-year study, the researchers identified that CEOs who were brought in from outside the organisation were more likely to make broad strategic moves than those that were promoted from within.
In general, CEOs who made at least four major strategic moves in their first two years of leadership were able to grow the amount they annually returned to shareholders by 3.6 per cent throughout their tenure. On the other hand, those who didn’t make as many assertive strides were only able to achieve growth rates of 0.4 per cent.
Achieving higher levels of growth requires big changes, big decisions and a confident leader.
It goes along with the idea that achieving higher levels of growth requires big changes, big decisions and a confident leader. But why are outside CEOs more likely to make such changes?
Looking outside to overcome biases
For an insider, these processes can seem overwhelming. It is easy to get caught up on the minor costs and challenges of the transition. However, for an outsider, this is a condition that often holds a more objective weight when the pros and cons are added up.
This doesn’t mean you need to resign and hire a CEO, it means that adopting an “outsider’s mindset” will allow you to become curious about what could be, rather than dwell on how difficult it will be to change what already is.
Imagine a high-profile outsider is recruited to take over your team or company. What will they criticise? What will they change?
InnovationPoint suggests that forward-thinking organisations and leaders proactively look for external sources of inspiration. They understand that their experience and knowledge creates biases and blind spots that are virtually impossible to overcome alone. Thus, they seek external opinions as points of reference.
Finding a fresh perspective on your business
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that it’s your business and you are the leader, and therefore you need to come up with the answers alone. Too often, making changes to your business is difficult because you think you have tried everything. But by adjusting the way you look at your company or your team, you can see the weak spots in your operation and come up with solutions to overcome them.
If you can get into this frame of mind and are critical of what you have accomplished, you will be better able to see what can and should be improved. Gain a fresh perspective and ensure you have the skills to manage change with the Institute of Communication Management and Leadership.