How deep is your understanding of the external environment?

Think about outside influences that may pose a threat to the success of your team or organization. How much do you know about those influences (e.g., how they behave, what drives them, how you can mitigate them)? If you are not thoroughly knowledgeable about them, initiate a conversation with someone who is so that you can deepen your understanding.

Why do this?
Understand external threats so you are more prepared to either prevent or mitigate them. Effective leaders are focused both internally and externally. They spend the energy necessary to understand the opportunities and threats that are in the external environment, and then respond to them proactively.
This act is part of your long-term effort to lead your team effectively by scanning the external environment and responding proactively to forces that will impact your organization’s success.
What's next?
Check in with a colleague or superior who seems to consistently have a deep external awareness. Find out how they make this happen and consider emulating their methods.

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