Four Key Elements for Competent Leadership

by Stefan Lindegaard

Four Key Elements for Competent LeadershipIBM recently published a remarkable worldwide study based on direct interviews with nearly 1,500 CEOs, general managers and senior leaders from the public and private sectors.

Titled “Capitalizing on Complexity,” the study looked at the insightful ways competent leaders generate success in a stunningly interdependent and interconnected world. The study came up with four primary findings:

  1. Complexity in perpetual evolution hallmarks the global environment.
  2. Creativity tops out as the single most important quality of effective leadership.
  3. Customer engagement ranks as essential for co-creating product and service lines.
  4. Simplicity clinches ideal end-user interactions via effortless interfaces and functionality.

The report describes creative leaders in words that could easily define innovation leaders and corporate entrepreneurs as well:

“Standouts practice and encourage experimentation and innovation throughout their organizations. Creative leaders expect to make deeper business model changes to realize their strategies. To succeed, they take more calculated risks, find new ideas, and keep innovating in how they lead and communicate.”

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Stegan LindegaardStefan Lindegaard is a speaker, network facilitator and strategic advisor who focus on the topics of open innovation, intrapreneurship and how to identify and develop the people who drive innovation

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  1. I don’t believe creativity is the foremost quality of leadership. I’ve worked for too many bosses who were ‘idea’ guys but lacked the focus to marshal the resources and follow through as part of the solution. They wanted to live in the idea – fun world without facing the consequences of their decisions. This type of leadership trait creates too many ideas with little to no results and burns out the staff.

    Painting a picture of leadership by using a primary characteristic is also flawed. Different situations require different leadership attributes in varying degrees. Creativity can be an asset but when the stress is up, the boss needs to be calm, think clearly and instill confidence in others.

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