What makes an Innovative Leader?

When you think of Innovative leaders you might think of Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Mark Zuckerburg.

Being an Innovative leader can mean many things, you don’t have to be creating the next big thing, you can simply be doing things better more effectively.

Here are just some of the traits and commonalities that are shared by great innovative leaders….

1. Not afraid to make mistakes. Branson, believes in a philosophy of taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules,” Branson said. “You learn by doing, and by falling over.”

2. Create an open environment for ideas. The key to being a successful Innovative leader will mean embracing the ideas and creating environments in which employees are given the tools to challenge the status quo, push boundaries and achieve growth. However, there must be a purpose or reason to Innovate, and good Innovative leaders will be focused on that.

3. Innovative leaders are authentic. As Forbes magazine says, “Innovators are authentic leaders committed to creating dynamic, highly productive, and values-based organisations that hire people who are passionate about their work; give them opportunities to grow; make them feel valued and respected; and give them clarity about their roles and responsibilities.”

4. Observant – They can spot an opportunity. Innovators understand innovation never happens in a vacuum. They value, build, and sustain active, vibrant networks of people, assets, and organisations.  They know their market, what their customers want and need, what the competition is doing and what is happening in their environment, and make decisions on that basis whether it’s a new product, new service or improving their internal systems to serve their customers more effectively.

5. Don’t think about problems focus on solutions. Innovative leaders that can get through tremendous setbacks and grow because of them are the ones who focus on solutions, not more problems. Thomas Edison’s persistence in continually searching for solutions following one failure after another is a prime example of the importance of having a forward focus.

Where do you start to adopt an Innovative Leadership approach? – – By looking at things you already know…

What is the last effective change you made / new thing you introduced, and why?

What do your competitors do that you cannot ignore?

What do your competitors do badly that you could do better?

Who in your business is likely to be an innovative champion?

Do you encourage your team members to innovate? For innovation to become a way of life not just for the next big thing

“Self-awareness and insight into yourself as a leader and as a member of a social group will determine how much you contribute to or cause innovation in your world.” Forbes Magazine

Great article from Harvard Business Review  Your leadership development needs an overhaul.. http://bit.ly/2g9M4of

Leave a Reply