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What Makes an Innovator

Cincinnati, OH | Posted: 11/18/2015 | Author: April Koenig

What Makes an Innovator

Take yourself outside a business mindset for a moment. What makes an innovator? A trendsetter? How are some in business, sports, music, and other arenas able to lead the way so effortlessly with a vision so unique? Why is the front edge so easily traversed for some? Well, there’s no crystal ball or road map to lead the way. But recognizing the following universal leadership traits can benefit anyone trying to shape the zeitgeist. 

Listen – Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire entrepreneur and chairman of Virgin Group, loves chatting people up. In restaurants, on planes, at parties – he loves to get opinions. You can’t know how to lead if you don’t know what people want. Getting out and hearing the straight dope from people, what they like and don’t like, is valuable in shaping where to take them.

Help – Innovators are respected for many things, not the least of which is the ability to raise the tide for other boats. Look at cutting edge industry entities like Apple’s App Store and Netflix. Their success allows the success of other collaborating companies. Innovative partnerships such as these prove that mutual growth is the trait of a trendsetter.

Be Confident, Not Cool – “The second you start looking to be ‘cool’, you’re dead” says Kevin Rose, of Digg fame, as well as other sites. Being cool is different than being confident. Confidence is the ability to see a deficiency or void, and knowing you have the ability to fix the problem. Leave cool for others that follow trends. The real innovators don’t need to prove to others that they’re the coolest. They know it already.

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