Disruptive Leaders

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FastCompany did an article on “5 Habits of Truly Disruptive Leaders“.  The 5 habits they identified were:

  1. They relentlessly pursue the truth
  2. They guide others through chaos
  3. They’re decisive
  4. They break the rules and write new ones – but always explain why
  5. They thrive on uncertainty

Success.com had an article on the “5 Rules of Disruptive Leadership“.  Their 5 rules were:

  1. Be curious and ask why
  2. Stand up and be counted
  3. Be leading edge not bleeding edge
  4. Build your bank of intelligence
  5. Diversity your circle of influence

The Centre for Creative Leadership came up with 25 habits of “disruptive heroes“.  A sampling contains:

  1. Question Everything
  2. Kill What you Cherish Most
  3. Have lots of affairs (on you boss)
  4. Never accept dingless tools

Other articles from Forbes concentrate on disruptive leaders, while other articles concentrate on innovate leaders.  (Hint: what was innovate five years ago is disruptive now.)  And article after article, after article after article all talk about traits / habits / qualities of disruptive leaders.  But if everyone has a list (and everyone does, including me, just wait a few moments) then how can you emulate these leaders?  How can you adopt 5, 10, 15, 25, 50 different habits / traits when some of them may even be incompatible with each other?

You don’t.

You look at all of these lists and you compile your own. Your own list of habits that you want to adopt, that you want to embody going forward.  You can’t be everything to everyone, you can just be yourself.  So pick what version of yourself you want to be and let that vision guide you.

All of these articles and thousands more focus on a few key points;

  • Question everything.  Just because you’ve always done something doesn’t mean you should always do it.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail.  You don’t get anywhere by sitting still you need to make decisions and move forward, even if the decision is wrong.  You’ll learn something and then you can move on.
  • Common Sense is sometimes a super power.  Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do something.  A disruptive leader knows how far to go to bring about change without breaking the camel’s back.
  • Sometimes you need to break the camel.  If something is irrevocably broken, needs to be changed, not just for the sake of change, but to make something better, then a disruptive leader will do it himself, rather than have someone do it for them.
  • Have a vision.  Not a lot of articles put this one out there, but I think it is probably the most important.  If you don’t have a vision, a goal, an objective, how do you know what to do in order to achieve it?


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