How leaders move outside their comfort zone to change the game

Annette’s boss gave her the feedback he wanted to see her playing a more strategic role, helping future proof the business. He could count her on as a safe pair of hands in day-to-day operational matters, but not on strategic issues because she was too busy fighting fires. A nagging sense of not fulfilling her potential or making her mark on the business also frustrated her. There was no time to consider the future with all the work on her plate. Something held her back. The first place to look was her own mindset and practices.

Her lightbulb moment came when she realised she needed an outstanding team around her to free herself up to focus on the bigger picture. She did not just delegate tasks to them, but provided her team with leadership opportunities. Now she expected more of them and held them accountable, she needed to clean up her own backyard. It meant her being willing to dismantle the comfort zone she lived within of solving today’s problems. She wanted to paint a picture of the future and take people in a new direction.

She started behaving more like an entrepreneur, seizing opportunities to add value. Her strength in building relationships based on trust enabled her to bring together people from adjacent disciplines to help develop a clear concise and easy to measure strategy which would have a lasting impact. In the past, she thought of herself as a backroom person, not a leader. But now she takes her place at the leadership table and her boss and peers acknowledge her for the enormous value she brings to the business.

Sometimes we need to dismantle the mindset we already have in place before we can move forward.
In the book Think Again, Adam Grant suggests, “we don’t have to believe everything we think or internalize everything we feel. It’s an invitation to let go of views that are no longer serving us well and prize mental flexibility, humility, and curiosity over foolish consistency.”

🙋‍♀️ What is your experience of moving outside your comfort zone? 🙋‍♂️

Best Regards, Brian