Leadership and Innovation - Leaders are Innovators

Leadership and Innovation - Leaders are Innovators

Innovation and leadership are closely related. Leadership always has some focus on bringing about a better future. In this sense, leaders are necessarily innovators. 

There are obvious distinctions between the leader/innovator (who), an act of leadership/innovation (what) and the process of leading/innovating (how). 

To be an innovator/leader requires a particular state or a way of being and relating to the world, a higher level of conscious awareness, especially in the context of change, challenge and uncertainty. 

Our relationship to life's circumstances, especially when there are changes and challenges, is the primary factor in determining whether we respond as leaders and innovate, or simply resist or cope with what is happening. 

If we are resisting or coping, we see no innovation and whatever change we generate will be as a reaction to the circumstances and part of the process by which those circumstances persist. (another way of saying the Einstein quote we use so often). 

As leaders when we are responding or choosing we are in a position to innovate and will do so naturally and consistently as a function of what we observe to be possible or what we observe is missing in our perspective of the world. 

Change based on this level of consciousness is likely to be an improvement on what already exists. In this way of being or relating to circumstances of our world, we have few if any limitations on what we can imagine and generate. We become creators, innovators and leaders in our worlds. 

Change is happening all the time whether we’re aware of it or not. A random event, insight or an accident may be novel but not necessarily an innovation. What one can observe and do in the context of a novel occurrence or insight is a determining factor in whether or not it will lead to innovation. 

For example, all of us have had big ideas from time to time and done nothing about them only to learn later that someone has succeeded in bringing about exactly what we had imagined. This is what might distinguish a leader/innovator from a dreamer. 

Mastery of anything is ultimately mastery of one's self, and who one is being in relationship to the world. So to become a master of innovation, a person must own both what is happening as well as what isn’t happening.  One must be present to both what is, as well as to the cognitive boundaries that define our perceivable reality and what has not yet entered that reality. 

At TLG, we consider leaders and innovators as those who are concerned with and competent at bringing new realities into existence. We consider innovating to be a primary element in the process of leading and we see innovations as examples of leadership results or outcomes. 

  • They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
    - Carl W. Buechner

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