Essay and Answer Writing

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”

The quote is by Steve Jobs who was an American business magnate, an industrial designer, investor and media proprietor and the CEO of the world renowned company Apple Inc. The quote is extremely relevant for it rightly shows that a person who wields the power of innovation, and has the capacity to be creative to solve glitches and problems can become an able leader. Innovation is a critical part of leadership. If leaders are not willing to look for innovative solutions, they would simply be left behind. The essay looks at the essential components that makes one a leader and the kind of qualities a leader must possess.
 
Who is a ‘leader’?
We talk about leadership and being a leader in everyday life, on several occasions. Who then is a leader? There have been countless people through history that led people but were inhumane and destructive. Does that still make them leaders? A leader is someone who does more than just simple ‘lead’ people. They have to be driven by the right motivation and make a positive impact on the people around them. A leader is someone who can see how things can be improved and who rallies people to move toward that better vision. Leaders can work toward making their vision a reality while putting people first. Just being able to motivate people isn’t enough - leaders need to be empathetic and connect with people to be successful.
 
How to be a successful leader?
A leader is a person who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal. A mnemonic for this definition would be 3P’s: 
·Person: A leader by its meaning is one who goes first and leads by example, so that others are motivated to follow him. To be a leader, a person must have a deep-rooted commitment to the goal that he will strive to achieve.
·People: to be a leader, one must have followers. To have followers, one must have their trust.
·Purpose: requirement for leadership is personal vision - the ability to visualise your goal as an accomplished fact.
 
Innovation and a leader
Nowadays, implementing an innovative culture in companies and push inventors is of prime importance. Indeed, it’s an extraordinary time for innovation. Technological changes and industry disruption seem to be accelerating. And digital information networks are linking individuals, organisations, and nations like never before. 
 
Innovation is commonly defined as the carrying out of new combination. Some common elements of it are: 
·Focus on newness, improvement and spread.
·It is also often viewed as taking place through the provision of more-effective products, processes, services, technologies, or models 
·An innovation is something original and more effective and, as a consequence, new. 
·Innovation is related to, but not the same as, invention. Innovation is more apt to involve the practical implementation of an invention and not all innovations require a new invention. 
 
Innovation may not be required for all leadership situations, but it is an important decision which a leader should be able to make, irrespective of its necessity. A sense of timing and an assessment of the situation, in order to provide an apt and creative solution to a problem, are major requirements a leader must possess. To take the inception of an innovative idea to its fruitful execution requires a certain level of perseverance and determination. One may face fierce opposition since it is natural to want to stick to the tried-and-tested methods, to not want to have to work harder to achieve a certain set of goals. But it is those who dream of a better and quicker way around hurdles and work hard simultaneously for the attainment of the same that can break their way into the new markets and work their way to the top. They are the real leaders. Good leaders are the ones able to come up with innovations and creative ideas to a pressing problem of the time and have the tenacity and confidence to make it work and in the way being able to generate enough faith in people to follow them and their ideas to make changes on a wider scale. Thus, they have vision, courage, integrity, humility and focus along with the ability to plan strategically.
 
·Consider Mark Zuckerberg who is one of the world’s most successful, young leaders. He has built Facebook as a company that fuels passion. Zuckerberg encourages his employees to work on projects that they’re passionate about which leads to increased motivation and engaged employees, ultimately adding to Facebook’s success. 
·Marry Barra, the CEO of General Motors is another example. She has transformed the company through her policies that are inclusive. She has developed a team of right persons to tackle every possible problem. She believes in attacking and dealing with a problem rather than ignoring it. 
 
Being unique and having a strong personality makes you different from the rest. A manager will never be a leader if does not bet for innovation and bring values, not just following the requirements of the company or what the superior dictate. Having a good team – a set of followers, is important too. Though there is nothing wrong in being an executer – someone who follows directions – but the ability to be innovative is what sets someone out as a leader. Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It's about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter.
 
The leader must know when to simply take the tested ways, and when to introduce new and innovative ideas and products. It is not necessary that innovation be complicated. Its brilliance lies in the sheer simplicity it has to offer, alongside making improvements. Many a time, we have seen innovations being crushed under the impending weight of complications.
 
Conclusion
“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes” - Leadership and innovation are closely-knit. In fact most, if not all, successful innovators are successful leaders too. Innovation leads to market leadership, one grand example being the Apple iPad, which was one of the first to break into the tablet market, and has been holding its ground quite strongly, while other companies have been trying to draw near. To take an invention to market, one needs a team, and a team must always be guided by an appropriate leader.



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