Extractive summaries and key takeaways from the articles curated from TOP TEN BUSINESS MAGAZINES to promote informed business decision-making | Since September 2017 | Week 310 | August 18-24, 2023
Why Unconventional Leaders Are the Way of the Future? What being like a cartoon character has to do with thinking and doing things differently.
By Robert Mesmer | Inc Magazine | August 10, 2023
For too long, businesses have been run by people who aren’t leaders at heart. Their titles may start with a capital C, but when you drill down to it, all they do is follow what’s come before. That’s why so many big corporations seem to move in lockstep. It’s also why innovation has stagnated outside of the tech sector. Only people willing to break the mold can break us out of this complacency and lead the way into the future.
Opportunity is hiding in plain sight. From 1900 to the 1970s, American companies issued a wave of innovation unlike anything the world has ever seen. Imagine going from oil lamps and the horse to nuclear energy and the airplane in your own lifetime. For all the hype about chatbots, nothing we see is likely to match that level of exponential progress. Partially because business becomes stagnant over time. Many of today’s giant companies have already been around for 100 years, and they’re done innovating. That makes perfect sense: If you can coast your way to decent financial results, it’s hard to keep pushing the envelope. Yet that complacency presents a huge opportunity for anyone willing to challenge the status quo. And even though it may seem like there’s less security when you try something new, being a leader means doing the work necessary to deal with risk. If it didn’t, there would be no reward.
Fostering an unconventional approach. By definition, unconventional people are in the minority, and there’s nothing wrong with that. People are diverse. Most people feel nervous when they step out of line and act differently than those around them. There’s nothing right or wrong about it–it’s just how people are. That being said, every organization has its unconventional individuals. These are the people who question the standard ways of working, propose new ideas, and welcome failure as a learning process. Oftentimes, their unique perspective is reflected in all aspects of their personality, leading to idiosyncratic modes of speech and dress. Even though these individuals may not always fit in, they’re invaluable in business. Change becomes possible only when people bear the risk of being different. That is what being unconventional is all about.
Trusting good analysis. Being unconventional isn’t always about inventing something new. In fact, it can mean going back to something that’s been forgotten. One of the example is business integration. Many of the unconventional entrepreneurs of American history, such as Carnegie and Rockefeller, departed from the status quo by vertically or horizontally integrating their companies. By taking hold of every step of the value chain, they brought prices down for consumers while enhancing quality and were rewarded by profit. Even though integration is a tried-and-true strategy, people regularly balk at the idea. At the end of the day, it’s not a matter of choosing between old and new. It’s about finding the best ways to serve customers. An unconventional leader isn’t afraid to follow their judgment wherever it leads.
When companies try to embrace an unconventional strategy and fail, it’s often because they’ve brought on leaders who don’t inspire trust. Many businesses bring in outsiders to lead change. The problem is that employees react by assuming that their new boss is about to bring in new people and threaten their livelihoods. The resulting paralysis prevents much-needed change from taking place. Instead of hiring outside help, companies can ease the transition by promoting people from within. It’s often easier to trust someone you know than someone new. By finding the unconventional person inside the company who already gets the culture, businesses can minimize the shock of change.
2 key takeaways from the article
- For too long, businesses have been run by people who aren’t leaders at heart. Their titles may start with a capital C, but when you drill down to it, all they do is follow what’s come before. That’s why so many big corporations seem to move in lockstep. It’s also why innovation has stagnated outside of the tech sector. Only people willing to break the mold can break us out of this complacency and lead the way into the future.
- Consider the following: Nurture the people who question the standard ways of working, propose new ideas, and welcome failure as a learning process. Being unconventional isn’t always about inventing something new. In fact, it can mean going back to something that’s been forgotten. Fnd the unconventional person inside the company who can be trusted for this transformational change bearing a lot of risk for the people.
Topics: Leadership, Transformation, Unconventional, Decision-making