5 common leadership characteristics that can hinder innovation

When hiring someone to lead an organization's innovation team, it's better in the long run to look not only for the presence of positive qualities such as creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit, but also for the absence of negative, innovation-quashing ones.

In the Harvard Business Review, Kerry Goyette, founder and president of corporate consulting firm Aperio Consulting Group, listed and defined five of the most common and most potentially detrimental of these "derailers."

  • Unconscious neglect: a tendency toward carelessness and impulsivity
  • Overprotectiveness: reserving one's best work and being reluctant to share achievements for fear that ideas will be stolen
  • Overconfidence: leaning on ego and willpower rather than asking for help
  • Overexertion: pushing oneself beyond reasonable limits
  • Devaluation: taking success for granted and underappreciating relationships and resources out of an urge to pursue "the next new thing"

Though these characteristics may initially seem innocuous, Ms. Goyette wrote, a recent Aperio study found that "derailing tendencies often result in failure on the individual level — no matter how many positive qualities someone possesses — which, if unaddressed, will eventually affect the performance of the team at large."

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