How much time and energy are you spending in (or with) your team and how much time out in the wider organisation? It might seem like a simple question, but executives rarely take the time to think about it. It's important to do though, because this single question could answer many other questions that you — or your boss — have about your style and effectiveness.
Executives usually have a preference for one arena, which can be reinforced by their role, their personality, or even the corporate culture. A quality control manager, for example, would naturally be more inwardly focused while a communications director would roam across the business. Both roles would attract different personalities. Similarly, some organisations are structured as, or have developed into, silos due to the nature of their business or markets. Examples might include law firms, where separate practices evolve to serve clients in specific areas.My suggestion is that executives need to balance the time they spend in both the In and Out arenas if they are to be effective.
I liked Gill's label of In and Out Leadership. In my comment on the post I wrote:
I appreciate the thoughtful post and the distinction between In and Out Leadership and the need for balance.
I have this notion that the line that you draw between In and Out could also be positioned differently along different definitions. I think of one alternative as a line drawn between "we" and "me" leadership. You might identify leaders who fail to focus on the "we/inner" needs of the team by focusing on their own advancement or ego/"out" leadership needs. In this case balance is also required.
Regardless of where you draw the line, I like the distinction between In and Out Leadership.
The key seems to be balance.
Thanks for reading. Please lead quietly and stay balanced.