Friday, September 9, 2011

The Anywhere Leader

In an environment of uncertainty and disruption, a successful leader must become what Mike Thompson calls an Anywhere Leader.

The anywhere leader is the kind of leader who can land on their feet no matter what the setting or situation presents. Mike Thompson, author of The Anywhere Leader, says that "managers who have advanced their careers through tumultuous times are the ones who find a way to fit in, build trust, and contribute in any setting in which they are placed."

In order to adapt to and broker positive change in any environment, the Anywhere Leader possesses three key traits:

Driven for Progress: Driven more by progress than politics. This means that they are discerning, daring and determined. Because they are driven for progress, they operate with the right and proper motives and remain determined.
To become a discerning leader, you need to immerse yourself in a constant state of evaluation…. Because these leaders never view their decisions as static, they aren't consumed by trying to make the perfect call. They can confidently move forward, knowing that they can, and will, make adjustments as they go.
Sensationally Curious: Having an exploratory mindset. They are consummate learners, who continue to grow and improve themselves, their team, and their work. Corollary strengths include being reflective, receptive and perceptive.
Anywhere Leaders have a distinctive ability to go deep with their own personal insights—calling upon their experiences, connecting with them, and forming some pretty strong opinions from them—yet put their egos aside and be open to the opinions of others. These leaders aren't afraid to shift their thinking. They are in pursuit of the best idea regardless of whether it comes from them or from someone else.
Vastly Resourceful: Able to get the most out of whatever you have to work with. Related strengths include being imaginative, inclusive and inventive. Because they are resourceful they never get stuck in uncertainty, but invent their way through setbacks and out of tough spots.
Leaders who can imagine are leaders who don't get stuck.
Thompson devotes a chapter to developing each of these traits. Few have all of these traits in ample amounts but awareness creates an opportunity to develop and/or manage these qualities. Not everyone is cut out to be an Anywhere Leader, nor does everyone need to be, says Thompson. "A job for an Anywhere Leader is one that features uncertainty—the unfamiliar, the unknown, and the unpredictable nature of business."

Thompson suggests that you structure your life so that you are accessible, wired (connected), attuned, and un-nested (MBWA) so that you are transportable or able to lead effectively, anywhere and everywhere you are.

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