A Leader Out Of Ideas

Jan 15, 2016 1 Min Read


Marathon runners and cyclists often describe “hitting a wall” during their respective competitions. It is characterised by extreme fatigue and loss of energy. Those who engage in endurance sports report experiencing this at least once in their lifetime participating in marathons.

As a leader in this current economy, it might feel like you’re competing in several marathons in different places all at once.

It is not surprising that you too may feel like you have hit a wall, exhausted creatively and weary. Akin to marathon enthusiasts, you can endeavour to re-energise your leadership and reignite your vision.

Rediscover your competency and translate it into values

Be honest with yourself. What are you good at? What are your strengths? What are you less competent at? The truth will set you free. This self-awareness and vulnerability makes you more adept to learning and developing ideas with others.

“Think competence, not capacity,” advises Mohan Nair, author of Strategic Business Transformation: The 7 Deadly Sins to Overcome.

“Being capable of performing is not enough. That will seldom give you the advantage you need to spark real change. Finding your competency is more about the recipe than the ingredients. Think of yourself as an artist, not a painter; an author, not a writer; a composer, not a musician.”

Get innovative with your competency and use it to create relevant, fresh value propositions. Sometimes you don’t have to change your destination, just your route.

Collaborate and spot leaders in your organisation

A company cannot survive as a one-man show, so create opportunities to collaborate with other members. Favour employee’s creative contributions over top-down strategies. Identify potential leaders in your organisation that bring strengths and competencies which you may lack to the table.

As Intuit co-founder Scott Cook puts it, “Traditional management prioritises projects and assigns people to them. But increasingly, managers are not the source of the idea.”

Be unorthodox

It’s just human nature to get stuck in a safe zone of habits and routines that barely evolve. Sometimes the best way to kick-start our creative leadership processes is to do something uncharacteristic to what you might have always done.

Atlassian, an Australian enterprise software group, introduced ShipIt Days, four days a year in which employees are free to focus or tackle any project they want autonomously, for 24 hours. It seems counter-intuitive to old management styles but this has led to record levels of productivity in the company and an increase in creative input from staff.

It is a dynamic and exciting time to be a leader. Organisational structure has become more diverse and creative than ever before. So whenever you feel stuck, do not be afraid to get out of character and invigorate the leader you are.

Louisa believes we are all leaders in the making. To learn and discover more about your leadership potential, get in touch with us at training@leaderonomics.com. For more Try This articles, click here.

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Louisa was formerly an editorial associate and freelance writer with Leaderonomics. An extrovert who loves the outdoors; she thinks change is exciting and should be embraced.

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