The most critical ingredient needed in all organizations today is action-oriented leadership based on a whole new set of attitudes. Uniquely equipped for this task is the innovative leader who possesses the Beatitudes of Leadership.
Be a Role Model
Workers are not fooled by posters, slogans, and speeches such as, “People are our most important asset” or Quality comes first.” Management’s actions show the people in the organization what is truly important. You must walk the talk.
Be a Risk Taker
The leader creates an environment allowing people freedom to experiment and take risks without fear of reprisal. The innovative leader provides support and encouragement to his or her people even if a person fails in trying to do something new.
Be Authentic and Approachable
Creating an open and supportive environment is important if you want your people to become innovative. One way to make yourself approachable is to talk openly about your own mistakes and your limitations.
Be Bold and Challenge the Status Quo
People become comfortable doing the same things the same way, copying everyone else. The innovative leader is always looking for ways to improve what is being done, never satisfied with just being good. In today’s chaotic business environment, good is no longer good enough.
Seek to empower your team members and not necessarily control them. Letting go of the urge to control will help build a better community of relationships within the team.
Be a Great Listener
Listening is a powerful tool that successful leaders have mastered along the way. The ability to sit and absorb what your team members say will help in the long run. People want to be heard. You’ll get great ideas when you open up the communication pathways, especially in an upward direction. You’ll warm up your culture by continually asking for feedback, acknowledging it and acting on it; then asking again. You’ll head off problems early when your team members can tell you without fear that something isn’t working properly. The team members have much more of an impact on the business than you do on a daily basis. We want their energy levels to be high and positive on a daily basis. Listen to your team members the same way you’d listen to your customers. Not once or twice, but constantly.