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2 Most Underrated Characteristics of Today’s Most Effective Leaders

June 27, 2013 by Bruce Jones, Programming Director, Disney Institute

Photo Credit: Flickr User rockmixer

Vision and empathy have long been two characteristics dominating the leadership conversation, but today’s shifting leadership landscape is inviting previously unconsidered leadership characteristics into the fold.

A Seley Distinguished Professor of Management at MIT, Deborah Ancona speaks to new research that suggests two less predictable characteristics of the most effective leaders: sense-making and inventing.

Deborah notes that sense making has not been included in any leadership model that she has seen, yet it kind of makes sense. “When the world is moving so quickly and in so many ways that we cannot predict, that a key thing a leader can do is sense make – that is, make sense of the context in which an organization or a team is operating,” she says.

The second characteristic is inventing which, like innovating, requires an organization to create new products, services, or processes that fundamentally change the way we think or act — to push the organization ahead. A leader with the capacity for inventing or innovating recognizes these opportunities in the environment and inspires people to push them forward until the become a reality.

Have you seen these newly identified characteristics affecting the leadership landscape? Tell us how in the comments below!


Posted in Leadership Excellence | Tagged Deborah Ancona, Collaborative Culture, Team Building, Communication Skills, Cross-Functional Collaboration | 0 Comments


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