The whole earth is following the principle of inside-outside. Water flows from the mountain. Rain pours down from the clouds. Light rays come from the sun. Emotions stimulate from inside. Fruits and flowers blossom from the trees. Sprouts emerge out from the land. Precious gems are the treasures explored out from deep inside the sea. A baby is born from mother’s womb. Love first develops inside and then it takes the shape of words.
Competency is also created inside and bringing it outside up to 100 percent is leadership. Leadership is always performance, never position and always regardless of power.
Some of the leaders (usually the CEO) are passionate about leading the company from inside (i.e. operations, innovation, product development, etc.) while the others (usually the other CEOs) are completely passionate about leading the company to the outside world (marketing, sales, biz dev, goals, etc.). Some of the companies possess duo CEOs with the above characteristics. Their relationship is dynamic in their use of their complementary strengths and as a pair; they are the highest of performance teams. Examples included: Jeff Mallett and Tim Koogle (Yahoo!), Bill Gates and Jon Shirley (Microsoft), Meg Whitman and Maynard Webb (eBay), etc.
A potential leader requires solid knowledge that comes only from inside and he should have competency to complete the things internally. He should be able to understand the trend of the current market, situation of the company and the kinds of hurdles, which the company is facing. At the same time, possessing a quality judgment, knowing where the business world is heading towards, and where the company will be placed by his strategy. And, at last perceiving how the company itself is positioned.
A clear outer perspective and inner extensive knowledge are the valuables for the company and the leader. Internal capabilities will help them in mapping new business opportunities and initiate a change in a very critical situation.
Joseph L. Bower, the author of the November 2007 Harvard Business Review article, Solve the Succession Crisis by Growing Inside-Outside Leaders, proposes, “We looked internally for our candidates.”
The author found that 60% of respondents to a poll of 1,380 human resource directors of large US companies said, “Their firms have no CEO succession plans in place. When the time comes to name a new CEO, many firms look outside for their candidates. Yet, he found that strong evidence supports the notion that a well-groomed insider is a key to sustaining the company’s performance.”
As most of us know, the difference between companies that manage succession well and those that don’t is that succession planning is a process, not an event. That process should take place years before the event.
Insight is a pre-requisite of a leader and performance is widely associated with inside outside process.