Key Traits of Transformational Leaders
While companies love the idea of launching true transformations, there are few that can claim to have done this successfully. The Harvard Business Review recently parsed the traits that truly innovative and transformational leaders share. (May 8, Anthony and Schwartz)
The HBR researchers found an interesting pattern among the ranks of transformational leaders. Namely, these executives tended to have some experience in their fields – an average of 14 years – but did not spend all their time at leading, establishment companies.
Transformational figures emerged from “outsider” roles, using their tenure with emerging companies to gain distance from conventional wisdom and find new ways to proceed. These skills saw them in good stead when they rose to CEO roles at established corporations.
This model of transformation has worked at Microsoft, where Satya Nadella has led the company down the path to cloud computing, a huge pivot but a necessary one in the digital age. Priceline’s Glenn Fogel brought the company a startup-honed business strategy that deviated from its usual approach to making money and has become the firm’s main source of growth.
Leaders who successfully execute a pivot in strategy have to perform a tough balancing act: These executives change the core business model while investing aggressively in new opportunities.
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