For the next few days, I am attending a retreat for the national association where I serve as a guest elder. My involvement in this role has been one of the most enjoyable professional experiences I’ve had, and I believe that it has been of value to the association as well.
I know enough to be helpful, and am far enough removed, well, to be helpful. I can see things from a neutral perspective, without the political drama that is often attached to some issues.
I can have an outside inside view.
The ability to understand an issue without being vested in it can be a very helpful position to be in. I can understand the nuances enough to ask probing questions without having a territory to protect. I can observe practice and make observations that others may have grown accustomed to and no longer see. I know enough to be able to ask “why” about the hard things without annoying people by asking about the basics.
An outside inside advisor would be a valuable addition to any organization. Think about who you could enlist: someone who used to work in your industry but is now retired, a person previously on your team who has moved to a new division or branch in your company, or a former employee or ex-competitor may even be a resource.
We all get so caught up in the details that we are often unable to see the whole picture. Let someone else hold up a mirror so you can reflect on what is.