June 4


Next-Level Leadership Attribute #1: Innovative

By Sara Canaday

June 4, 2015

career success, high potentials, innovation, leadership, professional development

This blog is part of a series profiling the key attributes of professionals who have elevated their leadership impact.

Organizations that want to remain competitive are constantly looking to innovate and evolve. The burden of meeting that necessary yet frustrating goal falls on teams and individuals, so next-level leaders successfully weave innovation into the fabric of everything they do. They constantly think innovatively, while encouraging and rewarding innovation among their staff members. While many great leaders have used innovation as a strategic advantage, Apple’s Former Founder Steve Jobs was a clear role model in this area.

What types of behaviors and characteristics can be found among truly innovative leaders?

• Connect innovation strategies to corporate objectives
• Proactively pursue new ideas, technology or business models that could hold value for the company or customer
• Know how to analyze many innovative ideas to identify the ones with the highest likelihood of success
• Question and challenge assumptions
• Spot patterns of change that could have huge implications for an industry, product or service
• Find fresh ways to repurpose or reuse proven strategies, methodologies and solutions
• Develop insightful strategies and improvements by observing customers as they directly interact with products/services
• Recognize the difference between creativity and innovation
• Successfully champion and manage new innovations within the organization

As you think about these evolved leadership characteristics, ask yourself some questions. Do I approach problems and processes as opportunities to improve them or deconstruct them? Do I pursue strategies and tactics that foster innovation? Do I think about innovation on a company-wide scale rather than something that just affects my team?

To be inspired by leaders who are clearly taking innovation to the next level, check out these links.


Let me know what you think! Coming soon…Next-Level Leadership Attribute #2: Resilient

Sara Canaday

About the author

Sara began her journey working full-time while she earned an MBA. As she climbed the ladder of corporate America, she repeatedly observed a surprising phenomenon: the most successful people weren’t necessarily the ones with the highest IQ or best job skills. She recognized instead that career advancement was much more closely linked with how people applied their knowledge and talents — their capacity to collaborate, communicate, and influence others.

Today, Sara is happily fulfilling that commitment as a keynote speaker, author, and executive coach. These venues have given her the opportunity to mentor and support thousands of people in diverse situations, inspiring many of them to move from insight to action with dramatic career results.

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