The Innovative Power of the Unexpected
Posted Aug 02, 2018
Success today requires a leadership mindshift. Instead of relying on traditional wisdom, leaders need to think about their roles from a totally different perspective. And when they do? They often find the inspiration to move forward in unexpected ways that produce powerful benefits.
How can you begin to make this leadership mindshift? Here are three ways to start the process.
1. The Power of Being versus Doing
Focus less on constant action and more on strategic thinking. Leaders still get caught up in the glory of being busy. The constant frenzy and actual “high” of being totally slammed with work. Which means they neglect to set aside time to think about tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities. The problem? When they don’t intentionally create that mental space, they lose the chance to cultivate their curiosity and feed their longing to know more.
If you are constantly “doing,” you can’t learn new information, explore your mistakes or setbacks, think about limitations, or get a sense of the big picture. Devoting time to “think” may not seem productive, but it can actually create clarity, free you from performance blocks, and speed up your ability to assimilate information and make critical connections you may not have otherwise made.
2. The Power of Challenging Habits and Priorities
Purposefully disrupt your habits and daily rituals in favor of new practices that may reveal or unleash new ideas. Pull the plug on weekly or quarterly reports that are taking an inordinate amount of time without much benefit. In other words, every task needs to hold the promise of adding real value before it secures a place on your to-do list.
Be crystal clear about what actually moves you, your team, and your company forward. Then cut the rest, no matter how attached you might be.
3. The Power of Letting Go
Give up your need to have all the answers. Leaders often get into an information-gathering rut, consuming every morsel of email and attending every meeting for fear of missing out on project details. Make a conscious choice to let go of tying your worth to your title, the last project you launched, or the most recent budget you managed. Instead of remaining knee-deep in all the details, shift to think about your value in terms of the people you connect, the colleagues you influence, and the direct reports you coach.
With today’s volatile business landscape and its complex challenges, a different leadership approach is required. It's less likely that one person will have the single, ultimate solution, so true wisdom comes from being able to tap into the full expertise of your team members and colleagues. The most innovative leaders are now embracing the idea that it's more important for them to ask the right questions rather than to have the right answers.
If you’ve been chasing the advantages of greater innovation to give your organization a competitive edge, the solution you need might be closer than you think. Perhaps your most powerful innovation-booster is actually a leadership mindshift.