Outsider and Incumbent Perspectives

The outsider’s advantage over the incumbent is the same as the incumbent’s advantage over the outsider- perspective.

The incumbent is one of us. He knows our world.

But the outsider has fresh eyes. He can help us change.


I’ve had a lot of downtime over the past month. I’ve looked up from the day-to-day mire and have started seeing as an outsider. I’ve also lost the perspective of the incumbent.

The practical and applicable are clearer to the incumbent. Tactical decisions about the immediate are more visible to someone who is immersed in the everyday.

To an outsider, the philosophical is more obvious. The theory, the big decisions, the topography make more sense.

Course correcting is easier as the incumbent.

Starting, stopping, or making big changes is easier as an outsider.

If you want to minimize risk, focus where your perspective is incumbent.

If you want to do big things, hire, design, sell, think, talk as an outsider.

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