True Leaders Have Strong Innovative Tendencies

May 30, 2012

True leaders provide the thought leadership necessary for, and create an open environment that fosters, genuine creativity—leading to true innovation in the policies, procedures, programs, and tools used by their organizations. As Alexander Hiam (the author of Business Innovation for Dummies) said, “Innovation is, in my book, simply a fertile union of creativity and leadership.”

Although true leaders do not suggest or implement change just for the sake of change (since doing so is simply disruptive, and creates unnecessary “churn” in an organization), they are not afraid of change. In fact, they embrace change for the benefits it brings.

True leaders have a genuine interest in helping their colleagues, teams, and organizations be as efficient and as effective as possible—thus they look for innovative ways of enhancing the organization’s productivity. You’ll often hear true leaders say, “Can’t we do this better, with less effort?”

Even then, when they innovate, they focus on doing so in a non-disruptive manner—with the understanding that changes in policies and procedures, as well as in technology, need to be well planned for, appropriately communicated, and rolled out in a fashion that leads to welcome adoption vs. disdainful resistance.

To affect positive change, true leaders cultivate a culture of creative thinking where “the rules” are challenged, and challenges are faced head-on.

Great managers may be very good at keeping a successful business operation and running smoothly. True (and innovative) leaders, however, strive for excellence—because simply doing things well just doesn’t light the fire of a true leader.

Allen Stalvey
Director of Operations / Program Director
Dallas / Fort Worth Area
http://allenstalvey.com


True Leaders Don’t Take Yes for an Answer

August 8, 2009

True leaders work to create a climate where information sharing and discussion are welcome, where there are no “taboo” topics, and where team members are welcome to express dissent in a professional manner.

True leaders foster a climate where people with diverse perspectives, interests, and experience can influence decisions, and they do so because they realize that the best decisions are made in an atmosphere of open and honest communication and healthy discussion.

In a climate where team members are conditioned to say, “Yes,” without any discussion, leaders run the risk of making decisions without what may turn out to be invaluable input. True leaders welcome that input, and as a result end up making better decisions which have the buy-in and support of the team.

To learn more about why true leaders don’t take “Yes” for an answer, check out these two timely classics:

  1. Why Great Leaders Don’t Take Yes for an Answer
    In this excellent book, Harvard Business School’s Michael Roberto explores five myths of executive decision-making that are so dangerous that they must be overcome if organizations are to have a chance of making the best decisions—decisions that are not later undermined by people who said, “Yes,” only because it was considered the politically correct answer.
  2. The Wisdom of Crowds.
    In this insightful book, New Yorker business columnist James Surowiecki offers an appealingly simple if somewhat counter-intuitive thesis: that large groups of people are smarter than an elite few (no matter how brilliant they may be), and are better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, and even predicting the future.

Allen Stalvey
Director of Operations / Program Director
Dallas / Fort Worth Area
http://allenstalvey.com

Program Director