Characteristics of Highly Innovative Leaders
“Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.”
The above words by Winston Churchill, emphasizes on the necessity for innovation that acts as a catalyst and has the power to determine your zenith in life. Without it, a person finds itself confined to the walls of aimless, sedentary, and monotonous life.
Have you ever wondered how people like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Steve Jobs were able to grow their companies from nothing to a world-renowned and respected brand? What makes them unique while a software company employee too struggles in the 24-hour time every day? The answer lies in the ability to innovate beyond the challenges and constraints.
These are tough and competitive times. Everyone seems to possess the same set of skills and access to resources like you. So, it is imperative that we surround ourselves with minds that encourage us to keep up with the innovations that are taking place in both the traditional markets and the modern technologies, and innovators who inspire.
For the latter, we need to identify the characteristics these leaders own and understand how they get new ideas or transform an old one into an asset, which can boost the company’s market image and economy. Or as Dr. William R. Brody, puts it “The calculus of innovation is really quite simple: Knowledge drives innovation, innovation drives productivity, productivity drives economic growth.” Some of these qualities are:
Innovators tend to do things from a different angle of perspective, unlike others. They firmly believe in this principle, and create an environment for their followers, equipped with tools and resources to break the status quo, consider sky as limit and advance themselves to achieve growth.
Leaders with an innovative mindset are not afraid to dream, create, experiment, nor fail. They keep hustling even when they face adversities. They rarely lose their composure and have immense levels of patience. In addition to that, they are so full of self-belief that they see an obstacle as an opportunity to learn by identifying its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
They prefer leading their team from a centralized approach, with dynamic control. They inspire their followers to push beyond their comfort zones when it comes to creativity and hones new skills that shall help them to grow forward in their careers.
They believe in diversity and emphasis on the need to have multiple POVs to remain impartial and gain a total understanding of the situations and challenges posed from technical, organizational, and economic grounds. They always prefer taking risks to shortcuts for steady growth.
Everyone can be an innovator! Innovators are authentic leaders who acknowledge this fact and are committed to creating flexible, highly productive, and values-based organizations that hire people who are passionate about their work; give them opportunities to grow. They ensure to make these new minds feel valued and respected; provide them with clarity about their roles and responsibilities. This is because innovators believe in expanding the network and foster a culture of sharing ideas instead of keeping it to themselves. Plus, they never forget to appreciate the actual efforts and hard work put by an employee.
Innovators know that innovation is not a one-time thing. Therefore, they consistently put effort into attempting to rise above the praises and beyond their past laurels to stay competitive. This requires innovators to be active change managers who know how to navigate through resistance to their ideas.
They never hesitate to break traditional norms when required, and continuously think outside the box. They know that innovation begins when they carefully observe and pay attention to customer needs. They do understand that if they spend too much attention to conventional business metrics, it can restrict them from creating or reaching significant milestones.
To bring any kind of growth in business spheres, change is a definitive element. And that change comes from innovation which in turn propels us towards progress. So, it is a must to be a strong leader who strives and demands innovation than be content with stagnant success. To quote the immortal words of Steve Jobs, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Hence, it is better to think and act tangentially like an evolving innovator than to follow the pursuit of generic thoughts.