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5 Habits Of Truly Disruptive Leaders – Commentary

by | Aug 29, 2016 | Leadership & Management

From time to time DirectiveGroup team members will comment on a piece of content they see online. In this post, Kim Figor gives her opinion on 5 Habits Of Truly Disruptive Leaders an article from Fast Company, written by Faisal Hoque .

Wow! When considering the definition of disrupt, I have to admit my first reaction was to wonder who would want to become a truly disruptive leader and then ensure I put forth my best efforts to stay far away from that person.

Disrupt: (verb dis·rupt \dis-ˈrəpt\) to cause (something) to be unable to continue in the normal way; to interrupt the normal progress or activity of (something)

After I read this article, I was able to see the value of a disruptive leader. In fact, I agree with the 5 habits she discussed in her article… Well, mostly anyways. I’m not 100% on board with number 5 yet. I will discuss my thoughts regarding the 5th habit in more detail. First, here are the 5 habits of disruptive leaders stated by Faisal Hoque.

  1. They Relentlessly Pursue The Truth
  2. They Guide Others Through Chaos
  3. They’re Decisive
  4. They Break The Rules And Write New Ones—But Always Explain Why
  5. They Thrive On Uncertainty

I do agree that it is essential to have a high level of agility in order to make innovation happen. I also agree that there is no way of knowing how anything will until you try it. I even agree that it is necessary to modifying assumptions and adapt plans based on results and leanings. Here’s where I disagree.

“It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand what’s happened the first time your organization tries something new. If you keep your eyes and ears open, you’ll be better informed the second time. And who knows? By then things might have changed all over again.”

The reason I disagree is that I believe there must be a level of understanding high enough prior to executing something new in order to make it valuable; this is even truer in an environment where things change all the time. If leaders are consistently moving forward without understanding where they are going with a hope of learning, they are creating chaos and may never really know if they are even going in the right direction.


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- Mark Twain