It's easy as the head of a corporate area or as the founder of your own business to sometimes slip into a mentality of "comfortable shoes leadership". It usually comes after a period of medium to long-term stability, when things are going well and the day-to-day workings of your world are moving along without more than the occasional small problem rippling the surface. It means a lack of interest in setting challenges (which by definition means rocking the boat), for yourself or for others.
The comfort zone takes over as your business benchmark. It may feel like you are breathing easy, but ultimately?
This is not going to end up as a success story, for you, your profit margin, or your team.
Why? Because this is leading at the level of the average. It is inward looking and will ultimately mean you are overtaken by the disruptive leader -- who is in turn the good leader - who constantly looks to the future, enables those around them, and asks the questions:
- What's next?
- Where's the risk?
- Who is innovating while we aren't?
- What new technology is around the corner?
Disruptive leadership may sound harsh to some. It certainly isn't anything to do with 'average', or the status quo, or any form of comfort zone leadership. It will definitely impact on your team. But it is about the positive rather than the negative.
It isn't ruthless. It doesn't mean putting pure profit ahead of people and the short-term win ahead of long-term relationships. In fact, in many ways it's just the opposite of this because disrupters have an end-goal vision. They are invariably entrepreneurial and collaborative, as opposed to those who put themselves inside the status quo-like box of 'no thanks' when it comes to outside thinking, influences and the possibility of change.
Take a moment to look at your own business area or, if applicable, your own business. Where are you tolerating average thought and average leadership - from yourself, and from others? Where could you be disrupting that thinking? How could you be collaborating more, thinking better, leading change, involving your team in the leadership process further? Where can you and your team be disrupters?
How can you give yourself, and by extension your team, the confidence to engage and overcome the fear of the future and break the barrier of average?
Answer these questions with honesty.
Stop hitting "snooze" on your leadership alarm clock. Because it's time to wake up.