The third step of Inner Leadership is to identify alternative ways forward.
We do this not by looking for strategic or operational opportunities but by seeking to find the inspiration that lies at the very heart of inner leadership.
There are two reasons why this makes sense. First, in a time of change, the obvious ways forward may no longer be the best and new opportunities will be emerging all the time. So it makes sense to spend time looking for these opportunities — remembering that we did not invent the lightbulb by finding a better way of making candles.
Second, the results we get will depend partly on what we choose to do, but mostly on the levels of enthusiasm we are able to generate. In a time of churning this is more true than ever. When there are no easy ways forward it makes sense to look for the directions that will create the greatest levels enthusiasm and inspiration in customers, investors, employees, and ourselves. Once we have found it, we can work out how to make that happen.
Step three of Inner Leadership, then, is about innovation and ideation. It shifts our focus away from asking “How shall we respond?” to the more proactive and enjoyable, “What do we most want to create?”
The way that we achieve that is not by strategising more deeply about the way the world used to work but by finding new inspiration for the way the world could be.
This is Chapter 3.