The Five Powers of Exceptional Leaders


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 28, 2023

3 min read


The Five Powers of Exceptional Leaders

In the world of business, there are only a select few individuals who possess the qualities of exceptional leaders. These individuals possess what I like to call the "Five Powers," which set them apart from the rest. In this article, we will explore these powers and how they contribute to their success.

The first power is the ability to synthesize information and think holistically. As a leader, it is crucial to move beyond the boundaries of your specific role and have a comprehensive understanding of various areas within the organization. This ability to think holistically allows exceptional leaders to develop strategies that others may overlook. They are truly the "generals" of the business world, responsible for overseeing and integrating all aspects of the organization.

The second power is what I like to call "SWOTTER," an individual who can quickly adapt and take action in an uncertain future. While many leaders are skilled at analyzing existing data and trends, exceptional leaders possess the ability to navigate uncharted territory. They can assess the present and envision the future, making strategic decisions based on their comprehensive understanding of the business landscape.

Another power that sets exceptional leaders apart is their ability to make decisions about what not to do. They understand that there are two types of differences: operational effectiveness and strategic positioning. Operational effectiveness focuses on determining what is better, while strategic positioning revolves around being different. Exceptional leaders embrace the concept of being different and understand that it is in this differentiation where true strategic value lies. They are willing to take calculated risks and position their organization uniquely in the market.

The essence of strategy lies in what is absent. Exceptional leaders have a keen sense of perception, always asking themselves, "What is missing here?" They understand that success comes not just from what is present but also from what is absent. This ability to perceive what is lacking allows them to innovate and disrupt industries, setting new standards of excellence.

One unique insight from the world of hospitality highlights this concept. In Japan, the relationship between guest and host is viewed as a partnership, where the host presents their world to the guest, who then accepts and enjoys this experience. This is in stark contrast to the Western model, where the guest is viewed as a customer and the host is there to serve. This understanding of what is absent in Western hospitality allows exceptional leaders to redefine the guest experience, creating a new standard of hospitality.

The final power of exceptional leaders is their ability to think sequentially. Strategy is not just about combining different elements; it is about arranging them in a specific order. Exceptional leaders recognize the importance of time in strategy development. They understand that the timing and sequence of actions can greatly impact the success of a strategy.

In conclusion, exceptional leaders possess five distinct powers that set them apart from the rest. They have the ability to synthesize information and think holistically, adapt and take action in an uncertain future, make decisions about what not to do, perceive what is absent, and think sequentially. These powers enable them to develop innovative strategies, redefine industries, and achieve unparalleled success.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace Holistic Thinking: As a leader, strive to develop a comprehensive understanding of your organization and its various areas. This will enable you to think beyond your specific role and develop strategies that others may overlook.
  • 2. Cultivate your Perceptive Skills: Train yourself to identify what is missing in any given situation. This will allow you to innovate and create new opportunities for success.
  • 3. Master the Art of Sequential Thinking: Understand the importance of timing and sequence in strategy development. By arranging actions in a specific order, you can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your strategies.

By incorporating these actionable advice into your leadership approach, you can unlock your potential as an exceptional leader and achieve unparalleled success in the business world.

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