Leadership Out of Your Comfort Zone: Best Practices and Proven Strategies for Success

Leadership Out of Your Comfort Zone: Best Practices and Proven Strategies for Success
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2023-04-11
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: Leadership Out of Your Comfort Zone: Best Practices and Proven Strategies for Success
Unit 2 Transcript: Leadership Out of Your Comfort Zone: Best Practices and Proven Strategies for Success
Unit 3 Workbook: Leadership Out of Your Comfort Zone: Best Practices and Proven Strategies for Success
Unit 4 Recording: Leadership Out of Your Comfort Zone: Best Practices and Proven Strategies for Success

Have you ever come into an organization as an outsider and assumed a leadership position in an entity where you don’t have much subject matter expertise as those that you lead? These scenarios are examples of leadership outside of your comfort zone and this webinar explores ways to navigate this challenging and tricky situation successfully.

This session’s instructor is Dr. Erik Fritsvold. He is the Academic Director for the Master of Science in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership program at the University of San Diego where he directs program academics, including curriculum, faculty, admissions, accreditation, and student affairs.

Topics covered in this discussion include:

  • What leadership outside of one’s comfort zone is and scenarios in which this may play out.
  • Erik’s own story detailing how he dealt with leadership out of his comfort zone being tasked to lead amazing people of different expertise, and how he overcame his “deficits”.
  • A video of Lt. Col. Ryan Sheehy recounting the deployment that stood out the most and posed leadership challenges for him as he operated outside of his comfort zone.
  • What servant leadership is, how it espouses investing in and setting the people you lead up for success, and how this serves as the antidote to leading outside of your comfort zone.
  • What true servant leadership looks like and how effective it is by allowing you, the people you lead, and the organization you’re with to be successful.
  • How servant leadership can evolve into transformative leadership, where people are looking at the big picture instead of their self-interest which aligns with the public safety profession’s mission.
  • Best practices to employ when leading outside of one’s comfort zone.
    • Learning the culture of the organization, interacting with and listening to the people you’ll work with, particularly the key stakeholders.
    • Exhibiting professional characteristics and giving off a good first impression by presenting well and being prepared, transparent, mission-focused, organized, and assertive.
    • Doing your homework to bridge the subject matter expertise gap and actively working on your weaknesses.
    • Focusing on your strengths and practicing humble confidence by compensating on your skill/knowledge/talent deficits with grit.
  • The important caveat when it comes to highlighting your strengths.
  • Other strategies to take into account when leading out of your comfort zone which highlight…
    • The importance of communication – verbal skills, active listening, non-verbal communication, as well as intentionality when it comes to word choice.
    • Leadership foundation elements of accountability of everything that is within your sphere of influence, extreme ownership in the good but especially the bad, and how these two fosters respect from the people you lead.
    • Decision-making considerations that value the input of key stakeholders, recognize that bad decisions are inevitable and status quo bias tends to happen, and how good rationale can help facilitate each of these.
    • How leading outside of your comfort zone requires time, effort, and energy which you must consider before embarking upon so it does not take a toll on your wellness.

Questions from the webinar participants are about:

  • Advocating for subordinates who oppose leadership opinions and actions.
  • Managing former peers who are resistant to your leadership.
  • Changing and overcoming less-than-ideal first impressions made in the past.
  • Moving from middle-line supervision to management and shifting into bigger-picture thinking.
  • Recommended leadership and management resources.



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Resources and Handouts



Audience Comments

  • “Excellent.. Another of the best.” — Robert
  • “The presentation validated some of my current beliefs and helped better define them.” — Michael
  • “The presenter was easy to follow.” — Melesio
  • “To be a better active listener, to research and be prepared for things outside of my comfort zone. Servant Leadership is key!” — Angelina
  • “Being transparent is a good thing to remind us all. It goes a long way in building credibility by admitting when you don’t know or you have made a mistake.” — Paula
  • “The ideas he shared on how to protect my time so I can do the vision work as well as the authors and books he shared for extra reading on the topics. I would love more training in transformational leadership.” — Amy
  • “Dr. Fritsvold affirmed my beliefs regarding the scenarios in which individuals find themselves as they progress through the various stages of their careers. I had wondered about the same things he discussed but had never heard them mentioned by any other professionals.” — Judith C
  • “Great presenter. I liked the discussion on True Servant Leadership and the outlined best practices for leading outside your comfort zone.” — Kevin
  • ” Dr. Fritsvold was very knowledgeable about the topic.” — LaTanya
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