Eight Ways Leaders Innovate and Look Forward

Kouzes and Posner, authors of the award-winning book, The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations, surveyed thousands of people on what qualities they want their leaders to posses and forward-thinking was ranked second, following honesty.

I’ve observed most leaders are hostage to the present. They feel overworked and overwhelmed at their current pace. How are you feeling?

To increase our ability to conceive new and creative solutions to today’s problems and needs in business, we need to pause, look, and listen. I’ve really been trying to focus on those three things. My first step to doing so was setting my cell phone and email aside periodically so I can observe the good taking place around me.

Look around, most innovation is more a matter of noticing “what’s going on” in the here-and-now than it is gazing into some crystal ball.

Here are eight ways leaders innovate and look forward to new possibilities:
1. Look at what you are doing and determine what is familiar and look for novel ways
2. Look for differences and distinctions
3. Look for unmet needs
4. Look for unheard voices
5. Listen to what you’ve never heard before
6. Use your imagination as to “what is possible”
7. Ask, “What’s next?”
8. Ask,  “How can we surprise and be out front?

I recently spent a day working with my video team on creative, innovative, forward-thinking content. I challenge you to be an innovative leader who is always thinking forward. Don’t be hostage to the present… step, look, and listen!

Here’s to your innovative thinking,
– Steve

As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

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“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.