Innovation — “driving growth, new products, and new methods of delivering value to customers”* — is critical in business but remains difficult to cultivate and quantify. Harvard Business Review recently published an article on five qualities that innovative leaders share. They are:
- Maintaining a Strategic Business Perspective: At the core of every innovative leader is a thorough understanding of their industry — the broader market, competitive landscape, and customer base — and a clear view on how industry trends will affect their business in both the short and long term.
- Demonstrating Curiosity: Innovative leaders embody curiosity. They possess a lifelong desire to learn, frequently ask questions, and stimulate new ways of thinking in themselves and others.
- Seizing Opportunities: Being proactive when presented with an unexpected opportunity is a frequently cited executive leadership quality. Innovative leaders are also able to change direction rapidly but responsibly, and without indulging in over-analysis.
- Managing Risk: A greater risk-taking tolerance to advance the business is a hallmark of innovative leadership. Experimenting with new approaches is a shared trait, as is the ability to quickly respond when there are setbacks.
- Leading Courageously: Not averse to conflicts, innovative leaders transform challenging situations into opportunities to demonstrate their decisiveness and are accountable when making difficult decisions.
If those qualities sound familiar, you are probably like my clients: successful, driven, and at the top of your industry. Yet, translating the traits of innovative leaders into a career narrative suitable for a resume remains elusive for many.
Resumes that make a real impact highlight value through career accomplishments — and the metrics associated with those accomplishments. My process for achieving that finished product — the resume — involves a depth of engagement with my clients to help uncover their leadership strengths, differentiators, and successes.
*Visit Harvard Business Review to read more about innovation and the five qualities that innovative leaders share, or contact me directly to discuss how to extend your executive leadership accomplishments onto your resume.