Developing Unconventional Leadership Skills
Really inspirational leaders tend not to follow the rules of convention and protocol that their more staid and bookish colleagues follow – frequently they show traits that are erratic and can appear at odds with the norm. Such behaviours and approaches include;
Playing Devil’s Advocate
Taking the opposite side of the argument to test out resistance and to identify any weaknesses in the argument or logic of a project. Keep asking Why? And How over and over again to push this philosophy as far as you can; this will unearth key aspects of the task that have gone unnoticed but which will create mayhem once the project goes “live”.
Taking the blame
If there is a blame to be handed around the really inspirational leaders seek this out and take it on. BUT if there is credit to be handed out they deflect this back to the team. Humility is a truly inspirational quality.
Ignoring the Rule Book
The challenge of going “off-piste” is an exciting path for the unconventional leader – this is allied to a spirit of rarely saying No and positively encouraging staff to do things differently recognising that this will create upheaval and debate.
Allied to this failure is looked at in a positive light because it allows time for reflection and for learning to take place.
We all have two ears and one mouth for a reason hence it is always best to say nothing and just listen to the debate and argument going on around us! Reflection and consideration are two skills seldom practiced these days but they set out the conventional from the unconventional leader every time.
Acting like a true Innocent
If you ask really innocent and basic questions then your curiosity and innocence brings out different perspectives to a task or problem. Great leaders innovate by asking basic questions all of the time – a little unnerving for staff but this generates new methods and increases innovation and new approaches. Why, When, What, How and Where are really fabulous words to use regularly.
Switching off and withdrawing from a situation allows the unconventional leader time to reflect and analyse what is going on. A change of routine, developing new interests and creativity skills are all examples that come from a quick disappearing act!
Consider the points above and apply them to your management style.