Friday, December 8, 2006


Innovate (Word Net definition: n 1: to create (a new device or process) resulting from study and experimentation [syn: invention] 2: to create something in the mind [syn: invention, excogitation, conception, design] 3: the act of starting something for the first time; introducing something new...
Lead: 1: To show the way to by going in advance; 2: To guide or direct in a course [syn: guide]; 3: a) To serve as a route for; b) To be a channel or conduit for; 4: To guide the behavior or opinion of; to induce; 5: a) To direct the performance or activities of; b) To inspire the conduct of; 6: To play a principal or guiding role in; 7: a) To go or be at the head of...

By definition Innovation is a creative act that has implicit leadership characteristics. Leadership itself does not necessarily require innovation.
Innovators possesss inate natural-born leadership qualities. This doesn’t mean they are good leaders by any stretch. They do, however, seem to draw a following as a natural outcome of the drive, capability and internal confidence that fuels their efforts. Whether the individual is a "right-brained" creative or a "left-brained" quantitative genius, the innovator seems to be in touch with an internal drum beat that is intriguing, catchy and attractive. They possess a vision of what's possible that is refreshing and inspiring, and people naturally want to be inspired.

Solid Leaders are not necessarily innovators. They may be very skilled and disciplined managers who know the fundamentals of business management and industry dynamics. They may have strong communication, organization and delegation skills, as well as effective interpersonal and teaming skills. Leaders typically create structure and guide direction. People like a sense of order and will follow leaders who create it.

We probably won’t remember the innovative person who couldn’t drive an idea from concept to reality -- or the leader who managed well but never really led an innovation. However, we will almost always remember the innovative leader.

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