INSTANT MBA: Step 'Outside The Bubble' To Learn More About Your Company

Dustin Snell

Photo: Courtesy of Dustin Snell

Today’s advice comes from our interview with Dustin Snell, CEO of Network Automation Inc:“Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. It helps to shake things up from time to time. I think that’s the best way to describe what I did. It involves risk, of course, to do that, but as they always say: Without risk there is no reward … Business success is not always a straight upward trajectory, it’s sometimes multiple plateaus and then you resume your upper trajectory and then you hit a plateau and so on. So on those plateaus it might be a good opportunity for some people, if you have someone you can trust to take over for you, to step outside the bubble for a short time.”

Snell knows what it’s like to step down from a position of leadership and says the experience was worth it. He decided to give up his spot as CEO, only to take back the reigns a couple of years later. Sometimes having that time away can be helpful, not only because you could use a break, but strategically, it can actually be good for business. Snell says stepping down from power and leaving your comfort zone allows you to look at your company from a different perspective. When you’re caught up in your daily routine it’s sometimes hard to see beyond what is right in front of you. Stepping back allows you to visualise your company, and your product, through a whole new light.

“When you’re inside the bubble, in your own company, you’re hearing a lot about what your current customers want and [it’s] absolutely critical to listen to them.” However, Snell says that when you listen to people “outside the bubble,” you’ll learn even more about your business. 

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