Inspire initiative: How to be an innovative leader19 Feb 2015
No matter where you are in your career, you no doubt will have experienced the middle-manager who’s read ‘leadership for dummies’ and thinks they’re some sort of sage on the subject.
While it’s all well and good getting the basics right, truly inspiring figureheads will delve a lot deeper. While ‘blue sky thinking’ and ‘thinking outside of the box’ have long been cliche, striving to be innovative as a manager is a must.
Here are a few tips on how to do just that:
Leverage innovative thinking
Developing creative and advanced leadership skills is a two-step process. Firstly, there’s the need to get in touch with issues being posed in the business sense, as after all, solving them remains the priority.
The second step – and the one that is a key component of innovative leadership – is being able to freely think on any problems. Workplace culture can often stifle innovation, and really striving to be a leader who breaks conventions and isn’t afraid to do things differently will help in reaching better outcomes.
Getting the best out of your team involves taking criticism and offering support in equal measure. Innovation – in any form – will present itself only when boundaries are pushed.
To that end, encouraging staff to constantly improve themselves is not only an inventive way to tackle leadership, but can also enable better, alternative results.
Show fierce loyalty
Showing loyalty is key in building trust, but innovative leaders will go one step further.
While it’s important to stay true to your team – end goals must be given the utmost respect and ultimate success put ahead of anything else. Even if it means upsetting those higher up in the company, being loyal to any targets and ultimately delivering success is more important than avoiding stepping on the occasional toe in the short-term.