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Traits Of A Strong Innovative Leader

Being a leader.

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” – Jim Rohn

With demands to continually innovate or be left in the dust, strong leaders are no longer enough. Companies need to be on the leading edge to survive and to stay ahead of the competition. In order to foster an innovative environment, one that’s continually on the cutting edge, strong leaders, who are loyal to the company’s goals, must possess the following traits:


The leader must have the ability to plan ahead and be able to change plans as new technology is developed, market conditions change or as competitive advantages dictate. More important than planning is the ability to accept and react to changes in the environment. Being able to plan, budget and forecast better than anyone else is no longer enough. The leader needs to be able to forecast plans for the future, then alter or discard them in a timely manner as conditions change.


The leader needs to foster a trustworthy environment, one based on rewards and punishments. A leader who relies on trust alone can be let down, but one who uses rewards and punishments to garner a trustworthy environment will be less likely to lose staff to better offers elsewhere. An environment based on trust and rewards encourages workers to be pro-active.


The leader needs to have compassion and understanding towards people and the problems they face. Too much compassion will lead to weakness and indecisiveness.


Ability to seize an opportunity without delay. The leader needs to be tuned in to what’s occurring on the outside, alert to new technology and willing to test promising technology rather than waiting for others to bring it to market first, or playing follow the leader. Too much courage will lead to excessive risk taking, so it’s important to have the right balance.


Ability to establish discipline by enforcing rules, policies and taking disciplinary actions equally, without regard to rank. Excessive rules and wanton disciplinary actions are cruel and will lead to abandonment, low productivity and no new ideas.

To succeed and cultivate a culture known for being innovative and on the cutting edge, a leader must possess and balance these five traits. Any leader may get a team to find an innovative solution when pushed. A leader with these traits fosters an environment where innovation occurs naturally and continually.

Read more posts by O.M. Kiam, success expert.  O.M Kiam is a blogger for JenningsWire.