The 3 Non-Negotiable Keys to Becoming a Disruptive Leader

Transforming Your Company and Beyond

Photo by Peggy McHale Joseph


On both global and local levels, CEOs, executives and businesses are pushing for greater innovation and productivity, diverse corporate cultures and fiscal robustness. Good is no longer good enough. The business environment is turbulent, and the stakes are rising. And according to Nassim Taleb, author of “Antifragile, Things that Gain from Disorder,” being merely robust is insufficient for survival.

Whatever a company’s unique mandate: whether it’s being more innovative, customer-focused, maximizing profits, merging corporate cultures, etc., the reality is that most of these transformation initiatives fail. And it’s not just because of an unclear vision or an imperfect strategy.

The main reason transformations fail is that leaders are not embodying the two critical sides of effective leadership. On the one side, we have the Communication/Productivity/Treat-People-Well, scenario. Very important. But not enough. Leaders also need the other side, the GRIT of leadership: a “good” disruptive mindset – which includes disruption of these leaders’ own roles.

Achieving business transformation depends on leaders integrating what I call: “The 3 Non-Negotiable Keys to Becoming a Disruptive Leader.”


Think Differently – Dream and Create Big

Starting with the CEO

Thinking, envisioning, and creating something that works better must start at the top. There’s no point asking people to change their thinking if they don’t see their courageous leader forging the way. Change is hard, and can’t happen unless leaders change their own thinking patterns on a big enough scale. Ironically, small changes are often worse than no change at all. It’s like injecting everyone in the company with Novocaine – numbing them into feeling things are better, while the decay worsens. How can actual change take place if everyone is stuck in the same, tired thought patterns? True change begins with an overhaul of attitude, starting at the top. Mere thinking is overrated. Visionary leaders do far more than think. They also dream and create.


Embracing Vulnerability – Developing Strengths

Embracing vulnerability and taking calculated risks is crucial for every business leader. Breakthroughs usually occur only after we recognize a risk or vulnerability, and work through it. Although addressing weaknesses is critical, organizations need leaders with outstanding strengths. And developing these strengths or operating in your “Genius Zone” is indispensable, as is leveraging your strengths to benefit you and your company.


Courage to Take Action

Talking about all the great things your company is going to do isn’t actually doing. What separates disruptive leaders from ineffective ones is that they “Just Do It!” Disruptive leaders understand and navigate risk capably. They also see when a plan of action isn’t working, and boldly course-correct to steer the team and project to success. The disruptive leader lives neither in the past nor future, but in the here and now – taking action while remaining uncompromising about work quality at all times. And all the while not forgetting ROI.

Having worked with top business leaders, I understand, and do whatever it takes to transform businesses. Contact me to discover how to optimize the leadership and profit of your company: