Innovative leaders can often be disruptive, for sure, and thus kinda scary for some. If you are that leader, gifted in discovery, or you’ve tried working with that type of leadership, you’ve felt this no doubt.
I recently ran across this infographic on the DNA of entrepreneur type leaders (which says it is by the Wall Street Journal), and I found it not only interesting but very encouraging actually. Why did I find it encouraging? Well the most encouraging part is over on the right side of the graphic where it talks about the “Leaders By Type”.
It’s encouraging to see I’m not the only one who is prone to “Discovery” more than “Delivery”, but that this is a rather common leadership type.
Yes, I’ll claim that publicly. However, I feel nearly ashamed to say so, and immediately feel I must defend myself by saying I deliver a lot too! It’s not my strongest gift set though – no doubt.
So far in my life, I have spent most of my time in ministry working with people who are much more the type of leaders who have strong delivery skills – or at least, that’s what they valued most. However, I’ve known very few, and worked with fewer, who are more the type of “discovery” leaders.
Like I mentioned, it’s to the point that I almost feel guilty for saying that, because much of what I’ve seen has given very little respect to someone who pushes for substantial change and innovation. We’re talking not just that we dressed different one day and did a new outreach event, but truly adapting entire systems, structures, and processes of engagement and cultural outreach.
Innovation Isn’t The New “Best Thing Ever”
I must be careful and point out something: Innovation isn’t the pinnacle of all existence in business, creativity, or anything. I don’t believe that for a second.
It is easy for myself, or anyone, to listen to one stream of thinking and leaders for too long and become obsessed with these buzz words of “entrepreneurship, visionary leading, innovation” and such like that to the point of even thinking less of those who don’t grasp those gift sets at all.
I’ve struggled with this personally, and so have to remind myself that just because many are passionate about it, doesn’t mean all have to be.
However, it must also be pointed out that it is important – and especially if you’re a leader by role. More than ever, we have a culture that not only lives in constant flux, but expects it! For an organization to remain dedicated to “what works” or, often more truthfully, be lazy and disengaged from the culture, is to bring about that organization’s own demise.
I mean that. I truly believe that.
The Challenge To Co-Op With Discovery and Delivery
Yet, it is still important to be a pillar of dependability and faithfulness as an organization in such wishy-washy times as well. So our challenge, especially as a ministry, is to figure out how we “wed” the two necessities of being both innovative and dependable.
How do we give honor to the people who want predictable, dependable delivery, but at the same time give honor to those leaders gifted in disruptive, innovative discovery. How do we work together to be, and create, someone and something even better!
The last thing we need though, for sure, is to be disrespectful and dishonoring to those who aren’t like us.
This may be biased since it’s coming from someone who would claim their strengths lean more towards the “Disruptive Business Leaders” side of the set, but my experience has shown it’s easy to discredit that type of leadership as “uncaring about the organization”, or “with a personal agenda”, or “too fickle” and such.
People often fear change and that which isn’t familiar or predictable, so it’s easy to shun those who more naturally embrace it. Those who naturally embrace change and innovation, are often very disruptive leaders.
It goes both ways though; so it is important that we learn to be honest and secure enough in who we are as leaders to give honor to others who are not like us so we can embrace the gifts we each bring to the table.
But, that’s probably a blog post for another time. I still need to study the rest of this infographic… cause there’s a lot more being said here.
What do you think? Have you seen or experienced working with a disruptive leader? Are you that leader? Does this infographic help you see things in a new light?