When you are an innovator, you must adapt to being both an insider and an outsider. Which side brings out the best in you?
Winning management’s confidence and assuming a lead role in taking a company in a new direction is exciting. You do so with knowledge, experience, and a passion for pursuing an approach that is unfamiliar to many of the company’s employees. You have a track record that inspires the executive team, and you thrive on being an insider in their major decisions.
At the end of the day, however, you often wonder why your peers and their teams aren’t very interested let alone excited about what you bring to the table. It is understood that you must collaborate with them to achieve results, so you are considerate of their initiatives and give them your commitment and support. Yet, they fall short of your expectations. Consistently giving more than you are receiving in return is testing your patience, and you are earning a reputation for being difficult at times.
Your determination, although highly valued by management, comes across as being too intense and indicating a certain degree of impatience to your peers. You are leading the company toward future success, but your colleagues are unimpressed and their comments are damaging your reputation. They aren’t keen to work with you, as they consider your expectations to be too high and unreasonable.
How do you win their support to embrace this business challenge? How do you get them to commit beyond the bare minimum?
Innovators are agents of change and usually out of synch with their co-workers. They are often viewed as outsiders rather than insiders because they do not conform to prescribed business norms.
Innovators need to be prepared to be outsiders for a long while. Patience is required to educate others, and time and effort are needed to influence mindsets that are accustomed to different processes and measures. Being open to engage the active support of an executive or two to educate and influence others is often needed as well.
So share with us, how do you behave when treated as an outsider?