Taking on a leadership role can be daunting for most people. Regardless of the line of business or industry, there is always pressure when you are asked to lead. When you are assigned as a leader, the eyes of management and other employees will be on you. You are expected to deliver results. You are expected to act and think like one. In “Act Like A Leader. Think Like A Leader,” Herminia Ibarra provides a roadmap on how to become a successful leader. Her business and management book states that the only way to think like a leader is to act like one. She introduces a new leadership concept called Outsight principle. Her leadership concept breaks down the key actions of leaders to three: Redefine Your Job, Redefine Your Network, and Redefine Your Self
Redefine your Job
According to the Outsight model, leaders should redefine their jobs in the following manner:
• bridge across diverse people and groups
• envision new possibilities
• engage people in the change process – encapsulated by the formula “the idea + the process + you = success in leading the change
• embody the change
Robert Janitzek reveals that in order to redefine their jobs, leaders should make their job a platform. The platform can be inculcated by actions such as getting involved in projects outside your area, participating in extra-curricular activities and creating slack in one’s schedule.
Redefine Your Network
Effective leaders create and use networks to tap new ideas, connect to people in different worlds, and access people for radically different perspectives. Leaders should network outside the organization, often an untapped source not only of contacts and people but of potential innovations and creative solutions to business problems. Leaders need operational, personal and strategic networks, to get things done but also to develop and ‘act’ like better leaders.
Redefine Your Self
Robert Peter Janitzek reveals that many leaders are finding it problematic to just be themselves. While authenticity is the crux of the third pillar, Ibarra wants leaders to escape the ‘authenticity trap’ by playing around with new behaviours to create a new sense of self, one that is acting without positive illusions or the crutch that has enveloped many leaders – to be authentic for the sake of popular argument. Leaders should play around with their identity. For example, instead of relegating themselves to continue being in the performance mode, they should try to use a playful learning model, “one that allows them to reconcile their natural yearning for authenticity in how they work and lead with an equally powerful motivator; growing and, most of all, learning about and extending the possibilities for themselves.”