Leadership from the Inside Out

What’s inside-out leadership? It’s a decision each leader must make to lead from the inside. It’s about leading from the heart and believing that if you’ve got leadership right on the inside, you can’t help but be a better leader for others on the outside.

Inside-out leaders believe in people at all levels and leave perceived power and entitlement behind.

Here are four common characteristics inside-out leaders share:

1. Inside-out leaders let others be part of the decision-making process. They ask for feedback and input. They share their thoughts with other members of the team before making a final decision. Rather than simply attempt to validate their own answer, inside-out leaders seek the best answer.

2. Inside-out leaders consistently solicit their teammates’ input, and not just when they’re faced with a tough decision. Take the time to ask your team what they need and then act on their responses. Questions to ask include: 

What specific areas of improvement do I need to make to help you grow?
What specific areas of improvement do I need to make to help the company grow?
What type of leadership do you feel the company needs during this season?

3. Inside-out leaders learn alongside their team! Don’t stop learning about leadership once you’re a titled leader, and keep the subject alive by discussing ways that teammates can be better leaders for the company. Then ensure the team encourages and holds each other accountable to living it out.

4. Inside-out leaders treat their teammates like they treat themselves.  Avoid falling into the trap of thinking that the loftier your title, the less you should be bothered by small, less glamorous acts of service and kindness.

Inside-out leadership is a conscious decision each leader must make to ensure their character and heart are reflected in their decisions and actions. Do you have other characteristics of inside-out leaders that you’d add?


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