What is “Disruptive” Leadership? Ryan Ayers

mickyates ideas, Innovation, Leader, leadership, Politics 0 Comments

To “disrupt”, especially within the tech industry, has been a trending term in the last few years. At its most basic level, the term means is to change the way people think, or the way things are done, usually in a business setting. Disruption can destroy or change existing markets by producing a better alternative to existing products or services, and it can even change the face of entire industries. Innovation is closely linked to disruption, but they are not the same thing. Startups are disrupting industries, innovative minds are disrupting the way we do things, and nearly everyone agrees that well-executed disruption is a good thing. But how does it apply to leadership? Disruptive leadership might seem like a strange concept, since leaders have always been called on to help people work collectively toward the same, pre-defined goals. If that’s the case, then how does disruption fit into effective leadership?

The Definition of Disruptive Leadership

What defines a disruptive leader? In a nutshell, it describes someone in a leadership position who is always looking for better solutions, and ways to improve processes and the business overall, and isn’t afraid to shake things up to get the necessary results. Steve Jobs is a famous disruptor, and his leadership style and creative vision was largely responsible for Apple’s overwhelming success. Jobs was known for being brutally honest in his criticism—a practice he defended with the results of his team.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Disruptive Leadership

Disruptive leadership has many advantages. It helps keep people on their toes, and always reaching toward their best work. However, disruptive leaders don’t use interruption just for the sake of shaking things up: they use it to get things done. Jobs, for example, wasn’t about to accept normal benchmarks for success; he expected excellence in everything the team did, and that meant disrupting the status quo on a regular basis.

Disruptive leadership can also bring normal operations to a grinding halt, if normal processes get so uprooted that it becomes difficult to keep up with all the changes at once, or if the organization does not have the resources to manage the disruption. An example of this is the executive order from the Trump administration banning travel from citizens of 7 countries. The order was issued without much review and unclear limitations. This wasn’t disruption like a reactionary economic sanction, this was political disruption that had never been seen before. The move was ‘unprecedented’ in American history, and has shaken up both members of homeland security, citizens, and of course, detainees.

Is This Trend a Fad?

The idea of disruptive leadership is nothing new. In fact, it has roots stretching back to long ago, which is not surprising, since human nature has not changed significantly over time. James Lopata of Forbes describes how Zen masters have used the tactics of disruptive leadership to bring out the best in their mentees. Using the element of surprise to keep students (or employees) on their toes is a long-standing tradition, though it doesn’t always go by the same name.

However, there are trends that occur in every industry and culture, with leadership styles going in and out of fashion over the decades and centuries. While innovation is always a focus of new companies, startups today are laser-focused on challenging the status quo, and learning how to do things faster, better and cheaper. So while disruptive leadership can’t really be classified as a fad, it is currently trendy, thanks to the business climate we are witnessing in the United States.

Putting Disruptive Leadership into Practice

Many people who favor and have successfully implemented disruptive leadership have discovered how to use it through trial, error, and their natural personality. It’s important that those who want to give disruptive leadership a try do not just make decisions on a whim, and lose sight of their overarching goals. This leads to poor implementation and lack of trust on the part of the team—nobody feels that they have the security they need, or the faith in leadership to steer the team in the right direction.

As with anything, there’s a wrong way and a right way to practice disruptive leadership, and the line can be very fine. Cross too far over into being predictably critical (or just completely unpredictable), and you’ll find yourself characterized as the mean boss. Stay complacent and your team will too. As with most aspects of being a leader, getting it right isn’t easy—but the rewards for success can be great.

5 Leadership Lessons We Can Learn From Elon Musk – JP George

mickyates Biography, Innovation, Inspiration, Leader, leadership 0 Comments

As one of the leading visionaries and business experts of the 21st century, Elon Musk is a literal fountain of creativity, ingenuity and passion. As a titan of various industries who isn’t shy about sharing his secrets to success, there is a lot to learn from a man who doesn’t back down from even the most daunting challenge. Aspiring business leaders can gain a lot of personal knowledge and practical value by examining some of the main lessons that have made Musk the man he is today.

Let Your Vision Become Your Obsession

If there’s one thing that Elon Musk’s friends and employees all know about the man, it’s that he is completely obsessed with his work. In fact, a 2015 article on Fast Company cited a previous employee of SpaceX who reportedly said that Musk’s brilliance and dedication was frightening to behold. Complete obsession can be a daunting force in any workplace, especially when the dream seems utterly impossible even to those involved in the project.

This obsession can be seen as unhealthy or abnormal, but it is also a sign that Musk truly believes in the goals that lead him forward. His vision for the future may border on madness, but it is also the force that has driven him to reach heights that many others thought were unreachable. Even if your dreams are a bit smaller than Musk’s, that shouldn’t stop you from waking up every morning with a firm belief that you really can make it happen.

Build a Strong Company Brand and Culture

Company culture is one of those terms that have been thrown around so much that it has seemingly lost all relevance and value. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Creating a culture that augments and supports your vision isn’t just a bonus, it is what separates a successful organization from one that pushes the boundaries and breaks through to the next level in the industry.

Every single employee, policy and communication with an organization contribute to the overall perception that employees and customers have of the company. Building a positive, goal-oriented culture requires a lot of planning and hard work. It doesn’t just happen by chance. Successful companies foster a culture that helps them fulfil their vision, usually by facilitating team work and by encouraging employees to become personally invested in current projects.

Learn the Difference Between Scepticism and Constructive Criticism

No matter how basic or bold the idea, there will always be sceptics who seek to undermine your confidence and motivation. There will also be people who are critical and scrutinize every little process, but do so with the intention of improving the company so that it can achieve its goals more efficiently. Learning to recognize the difference between constructive criticism and negative scepticism is essential for improving yourself and your business model.

Conduct Your Business with Integrity

Making a few quick bucks off of a customer or product may yield short-term profits, but this attitude will come back to haunt you in the future. Instead, focus on providing real value to customers with products or services that provide far more value than they cost. Companies exist to improve the lives of their clients, not to squeeze a few pennies out of them for mediocre results. Clients know the difference between companies that really care about them and those that just want to use them for fast profits.

Never Stop Learning and Expanding Yourself

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes leaders make is to become complacent with their current level of success. Elon Musk, and other visionaries like him, are never satisfied with the present state. They are always seeking new knowledge so that they can expand their vision, find innovative solutions and constantly improve their organization. There is really no limit to what you can accomplish if you keep educating yourself year after year.

As you seek more information resources through conversation and print media, you should also explore the numerous elearning solutions available on the internet. Once you know how to properly vet the information you find online, you will discover an entire universe of knowledge that you can use to take yourself and your business to the next level. Check out this list if you are struggling to get started finding reputable online learning solutions.