Be creative and look at what else you might do, within and outside your organisation. What you could do less of, what could you do more of – and what new activities could you add? Join a taskforce or a working group outside your day-to-day role. The perspectives you’ll gain from doing new things and meeting new people will take you outside yourself, your habitual thinking and your silos.
Plunge into new projects and activities, interact with different kinds of people and experiment with unfamiliar ways of getting things done. New experiences don’t just change how you think – they change who you become, let go of old habits and reshape your self-image as you realise what you’re capable of. Through doing things differently your true authentic self will emerge. Slowly but surely, a more central and enduring leader identity will start to take root within you.
Also ask yourself how you do your job. Are you a hub, at the centre of the action – or a bridge, spanning boundaries? What could you do to act as a link pin, still working in your group but helping connect it to the outside? What is relevant externally that you can learn about and connect back in?
2. Network across and out.
A lot of people dislike the idea of networking because they think it’s about going to an organised drinks session and exchanging business cards. Think of your network more broadly as a set of people who help advance your career and get things done professionally. Whether you’re looking to move into a bigger role or to change careers, your network is what’s going to help you or limit you. It shows you what’s out there and then gives you the help and resources to make it possible.