I have studied disruptive leaders carefully for three decades. I have found they have 9 critically important characteristics. How many do you have?
#1. Radical Vision
Radical Change Leaders have a vision far beyond the short-term, ordinary approach. They not only think a little better, faster or cheaper but dramatically different. Often this leader disrupts the present world with a different paradigm, shattering our old ways of thinking, feeling and acting. What is your vision?
#2. Build Constructive Outcomes
Disruptive Leaders are constructive, not destructive. The most successful are those that work hard to make the world a better place. This takes the diligent effort and the right focus. Some think they can advance their position by destroying traditional markets but what they miss is that the best disruption comes when we offer our followers something so good that they never want to follow the old way again. How will your vision significantly improve their lives?
#3. Leverage Power
The disruptive leader values leverage rather than wielding power. They grasp that they really have little power without helping others maximize theirs. Leveraging power is especially true in this knowledge and connection economy. To what degree are you still trying to wield your leadership power?
#4. Deflect Criticism
Those creating Radical Change are not dissuaded by those that don’t understand, can’t get it or quickly dismiss their idea. They look beyond the “that doesn’t make any sense” or “that will never work” comments. Instead, they are willing to stand up to opposition, especially those who are quick to dismiss a new or different idea. The Radical Change Leader is bold, decisive and willing to be different. What impact does opposition have on you?
#5. Think Differently
Disruptive leaders think differently because they have chosen to look at the world from a different perspective. Essentially they choose to be different and to think different. While followers clamor in the “me too” mindset, disruptive leaders sit back, stand tall and even crouch down to see a different angle than everyone else. It is in being willing to be different that they find the radical and disruptive innovation. Are you willing to think differently than your friends?
#6. Impatient and Intolerant
Many would see these as character flaws. But disruptive leaders are simply not content following the same old, tired way. They see the limitations and are impatient with the lack of progress. So they become impatient and intolerant with the lack of significant change. Are you patient and content, waiting for others to make the change? Or are you the one who is so impatient and intolerant that you initiate the action?
#7. Take Big Risks
Bold actions require incredible risks. Those playing it safe with small, incremental change shrink from the thought of a big risk. Are you willing to take the big risk?
#8. Embrace the Identity
The disruptive leader doesn’t just think differently or do something radical. They do more by specifically embracing the identity. They are willing to step forward and BE known as the individual who thinks and does radical change. That might not sound so significant but is critical to their success. To welcome a different and radical identity is being willing to stand apart and take a significantly different role. It is leaving the ranks of the conformists and offering a dissenting opinion, disturbing alternative and difficult challenge. This demands a strong will. Are you willing to embrace that disruptive identity?
#9. Create a Team of Disruptive Thinkers
To change yourself is difficult but to build a following of those willing to radically change their own identities is even more challenging. The disruptive leader who builds a disruptive team institutionalizes the radical change process without being a dictator. That is a very difficult challenge. Too often those lone wolf disruptors see the world so differently that they do not work well with others. But when that individual grasps the way to help others leverage their power to disrupt, something special happens. Take it to the next level and we find disruptive individuals gladly collaborating with other like minded individuals in the quest to disrupt. Leading that team of disruptors demands a different mindset, spirit and action. Are you fostering a team of disruptors or obedient followers?
Become the Disruptive Leader
I am Dr. Loren Murfield and I develop disruptive leaders. If that is your desire, contact me today.
Checkout my online leadership platform. Power University
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(c) Murfield International, Inc. 2016