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Xenonex shares 10 Traits of Innovative Leaders

At Xenonex, we work across both the public and private sector, and with a diverse range of teams and individuals. However, Innovative Leadership is key to motivated successful teams working across all organisations and how individual leaders can work towards this is central to our programme delivery.


Many organisations would like their leaders to create more innovative teams. But how exactly should they do this? Most highly innovative leaders can often find it difficult to pinpoint what accounts for their skill. Research carried out by US –based leadership development consultants Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman identified 10 distinctive behaviours that set innovative leaders apart.


These leaders:


Display excellent strategic vision. The most effective innovation leaders could vividly describe their vision of the future


Have a strong customer focus. They networked with clients and asked incessant questions about their needs and wants.


Create a climate of reciprocal trust. They initiated warm, collaborative relationships with the innovators who worked for them.


Display fearless loyalty to doing what’s right for the organisation and customer. Pleasing the boss took a back seat to doing the right thing for the project.


Put their faith in a culture that magnifies upward communication. These leaders were often described as projecting optimism, full of energy, and always receptive to new ideas.


Are persuasive. They presented ideas with enthusiasm and conviction, and the team willingly followed.


Excel at setting stretch goals. They set goals that required people to go far beyond just working harder but required that they find new ways to achieve a high goal.


Emphasize speed. These leaders believed that experiments and rapid prototypes were preferred to lengthy studies by large committees.


Are candid in their communication. These leaders were described as providing honest, and at times blunt, feedback.


Inspire and motivate through action.  This comes from a clear sense of purpose and meaning in the work.


Xenonex delivers innovative and bespoke client-centred solutions in Leadership Development and training across the UK. We work to maximise and transform the way people work. To find out more contact Jo Watson, Business Development Manager on 01423 876371 or email jo.watson@xenonex.co.uk


Suzanna Prout