6 Questions with an Executive Consultant

This week, we begin a new Q&A series interviewing thought leaders, CEOs, researchers, and others for their perspectives on a multitude of business and leadership questions. We start with Innovative Leadership Institute founder and CEO Maureen Metcalf. Check out her answers to these timely issues:

1. If you could give executive leaders everywhere a single piece of advice, what would it be?

Find the intersection between what you are passionate about, what you are great at, what can pay your bills, and what the world needs. Once you’ve identified this, build your skills to move in this direction. This is how you become competent, fulfilled, and compensated.

2. What’s a common belief or practice you still see executive leaders holding onto even though it’s outdated and won’t serve them?

Leaders must have all the answers, and this idea is hard to let go of when people come to us looking for answers. Having those answers helps us feel valuable — and not knowing is risky. Current leaders must take on the mind of the scientist: We build the ability to formulate a hypothesis, seek input, test our hypothesis, learn, refine our direction, and move forward. We need to learn constantly and acknowledge our curiosity rather than our answers.

3. The business world has probably seen more flux in the past few years than ever before. What challenges or disruptions should savvy leaders be educating themselves about right now?

AI is the most significant change most of us will see in our careers, and other areas will also produce substantial change. AI is the intersection of many changes in technology, operations, resources, and more that cause leaders to need to master the art of elevating their abilities and evolving their organizations.

4. What’s a simple tip that can help new C-suite executives quickly assimilate and excel?

Understand the ecosystem. C-suite executives need to pay attention to politics and understand the business, trends, competitors, adjacent industries, and more. As a C-suite leader, you’re responsible for the impact you make on your customers, employees, and communities. Your actions and decisions are far-reaching and can have significant consequences.

5. What’s your favorite part of the job? What gets you most excited?

I’m fortunate to love many parts of my job, ranging from advising executives to interviewing thought leaders on my podcast to writing books. It brings me happiness to see people elevate their skills and see organizations evolve to become more successful across a broad range of measures that matter to them.

6. What’s something you’ve learned recently? What made it so interesting?

I learn continually! I love frameworks that help me refine my thinking and that I can share with my clients. In a recent conversation, our alumni cohort discussed the importance of having a vision, corresponding intention, and positive energy to get results. The distinction was that we can remain positive in most situations even when we aren’t accomplishing our initial vision. We must balance commitment to our vision with a healthy amount of flexibility.

Innovative Leadership & Followership in the Age of AI Audiobook

We’re delighted to share that the audiobook version of the new book Innovative Leadership & Followership in the Age of AI is available now! Find it on Audible at https://amzn.to/4dTCleZ.

Thank you for reading our newsletter, where we bring you thought leaders and innovative ideas on leadership topics each week.

We strive to elevate the quality of leadership worldwide. Are you ready? If you are looking for help developing your leaders, explore our services.

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