I recently read an interesting article by Les McKeown on MyVenturePad entitled The 3 inescapable characteristics of growth-oriented leaders. In the article Les states that he sees the top three growth indicators as:
- A respect for, and knowledge of what happened in the past, but with zero interest in blame.
- Highly developed pattern recognition skills.
- Constant but (relatively) low-level self-competitiveness.
For me, item one is obvious and can’t be argued against. Similarly, item three in the list is relatively straight forward. After all, if you can’t stay focused on the vision and if you let your personal interests win over the organisation’s interests then growth will naturally take a back seat.
Item two in Les’ list intrigues me. Les states that
“Every successfully growth-oriented leader I’ve ever met had the capacity to see persistent patterns in both data and accumulated actions. They also tend to be good at the use of metaphor (which is a necessary skill to turn their pattern recognition into someone else’s vision).”
I think Les is missing the point. Simply having the ability to spot patterns and describe them, using good metaphors is, in my opinion, not enough to drive growth. For me, a growth leader must be capable of forging new paths, creating new patterns, leading us into new territory.
What’s your opinion?
I urge you to read Les’ article and comment as I am fascinated by his observations.