The 7 Qualities That Innovative Leaders Share

Innovative leaders come in all shapes and sizes, but there are seven key characteristics that they all have in common. See where you can develop these characteristics in yourself to improve your leadership qualities for your own team.

Every innovative business owner has a vision for where they want to go and a strategy for how to get there. They can apply their strategy ideas to see what works and what doesn't, and then evaluate the results of their efforts against their vision.

Innovative leaders listen more than they talk. Rather than sharing their own ideas, they listen to the ideas of team members, colleagues, thought leaders, and customers. This is valuable information that directs the leader toward the right course of action.

To an innovative business owner, the status quo is the enemy. Even when things seem to be going perfectly well, you as a business owner should look for changes and opportunities. A leader lives in the future and can't help making the changes he or she thinks need to be changed. A leader is also flexible and can handle it when things don't turn out as planned.

A true leader isn’t afraid to take risks and they see failure as a learning opportunity. Everything gets chalked up to experience. Study the life of any great business owner and you'll see that there were 99 failures before the smashing success that changed the world. A good leader can separate their ego and emotions from the outcomes of their actions.

As a business owner, you should directly and openly with others. You should be accessible, and your team should feel comfortable approaching you.

Be a relentless question asker. As a business owner, you want to know everything about everything because you never know what kind of information you can use. Even for matters that don't seem to directly influence business, you want to know. Knowledge is power and a good leader wants to know a great deal across fields.

People with the above qualities surround themselves with similar individuals. They choose people for their team that displays the same leadership abilities, and they don't waste their time with people who are negative or toxic to the work environment. This creates an organization where everyone is a leader and it's not a top-down organization. With each person contributing, an organization can reach its fullest potential.

The good news is that these seven qualities can all be learned. They don't have to be natural strengths. You can work on cultivating these qualities in yourself, and you can also create a business culture that encourages these traits.

Want to learn more about creating your Dream Team? Head over to my blog post “5 Small business Culture Killers and What You Can Do About Them”.