I had lunch with a dear friend and executive yesterday talking about her sense of dread about getting out of bed in the morning and going to work. She is a very upbeat person so this is a new experience for her. She believed about 80% of her executive peers had similar dread on a daily basis and really wondered how they could make it through their day.
People are actually hoping the 2012 disaster predictions are true so they can escape the jobs that they dreamt about and worked their entire lives to achieve. How can that be?
We go to college, take the right stretch assignments, relocate for jobs, and work crazy hours so we can reach this goal – being an executive. All those sacrifices, time with friends and family, missed events, putting off relationships and family. Then the question – I gave up so much to get here? Now what? Is this really it?
How does this tie to innovative leadership? Most of the leaders I know are working longer hours than they ever imagined at this point in life. We all expected to pay our dues and we expected that the long hours and crazy schedules would be rewarded with promotion and an opportunity to live a more balanced life. Many are at the top of their game with regard to skills and abilities and still working crazy hours and feeling burned out. As they look down the road, what are they working for?
Innovative leadership helps leaders change how they see their role as leaders and develop additional awareness and skills to shift their experience. What do you get from focusing on Innovative Leadership?
- It can help you become more self-aware – providing a foundation for different choices and more productive interactions
- It can increase your ability to find innovative approaches to solve problems
- It can help you change your habitual thinking – moving away from unproductive thoughts
- It can help you become more systematic in your problem solving and decision making – more comprehensive solutions mean more efficiency
- It can guide your leadership behaviors to a more generative (less controlling) style – increasing engagement and productivity among your team
So, with those potential benefits – can you afford the time to explore what it is? Please see our blog post on Innovation Excellence site explaining more about Innovative Leadership – titled Is Your Leadership Innovative. You can also take the free on-line Innovative Leadership assessment to test your own development.
Based on feedback from busy executives, we are in the process of condensing the highly acclaimed Innovative Leadership Fieldbook into a much shorter workbook format. While it does not have the depth of information, it is shorter thus requiring less time. We provide practical tools and templates that help you in your leadership development along with an example of what completed worksheets look like. You can use this as a stand-alone process or work with a coach. If you as a leader find the content and process helpful, you can use it with your staff to help them develop.
If you are looking for tools to help develop you ability to be an innovative leader, check out the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook. Metcalf & Associates offers assessments, coaching and workshops to help you and your leadership team become more innovative.
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Photo credit: flickr h.koppdelaney