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In my last post, I laid the groundwork for those of you who want to dip your toe in the disruptor waters. I provided a living workbook to help determine your actual readiness to disrupt along with six steps to turn that readiness into action.

This week’s post is for those who believe they are ready to take the plunge to become an innovator. I’m going to let you in on a little secret – disruption starts with your leaders.

While every company is different, there are some consistent truths about leadership.

  • If leaders don’t buy in, it’s unlikely your managers and front line will.
  • Leaders set the tone for the entire organization.
  • Even though employees can’t always hear what leaders say, they can observe their actions and behaviors.

If you want to disrupt, you need the leaders to, well, lead and rally the entire organization. If you can do that, you will set the stage for ripples of disruption spreading throughout your organization – building momentum from every level they touch, becoming a force so strong that it can’t be stopped. And shouldn’t.

So, are your leaders ready to lead disruption? Let’s find out.

Rate how strongly you agree with each statement on a scale of 1–5, with 1 meaning “No way!” and 5 meaning “Let’s get the party started!”

  • Leaders have aligned on a strategy for disruption and defined the culture to support it.
  • Leaders have defined the current state of the business clearly and honestly.
  • Leaders have developed a compelling future state (defined what success looks like).
  • Leaders have outlined the strategic priorities that will bridge the gap between our current state and future state.
  • Leaders have agreed to the actions and behaviors they will adopt and demonstrate to let everyone know that they are committed to the change.

(Highest possible score = 25)

20 and above – Disruptor AF

Look at you! All aligned and stuff. Your leadership is driving this ship right toward disruption and you are doing all the right things to keep it on that trajectory. Your people are engaged and ready to embrace change and reap the rewards. Remember to stay tuned in to ensure that alignment continues and helps build the momentum driving your people to disrupt the market. You’ve got this.

10–19 – Dabbling Disruptor

You’re so close. The intention is there and people seem to get it. You just need a little push and to work out some kinks. Make sure your leaders are buying what they’re selling. Authenticity is key here and will help everyone get on the same page and over this last hump. Disruption is around the corner!

5–9 – Disruption Dysfunction

OK, let’s all take a step back and see what’s happening. What’s the roadblock? Is it your leadership? The message? The change? Let’s find the break in the chain, weld that bad boy together, and get back on track. Don’t give up – it’s possible and it’s worth it!

How did you do? Was your score what you expected it to be? Is your leadership team ready to disrupt? Let us know. The five questions you answered also serve as a guide for what leaders need to achieve to lead a successful marketplace disruption. Next week we will explore the importance of managers in disruption.

Watch Gary’s Webinar about 3 Things all Disruptors have in Common

March 28, 2018


I want to hear how you can help my organization align on and activate our strategy. Call me, today.

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