It’s relatively common to hear workplace comments like, “She’s an idea person,” or “He’s a detail guy.” Intuitively, most people recognize that solving a problem or creating a product requires a number of different tasks to be completed, and also that different people prefer different tasks. But a vague intuitive sense is only vaguely helpful when building successful teams.
Steve Jobs once said that innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower, and he was right in many ways. But I’d add that while innovation may define a leader, a leader also creates innovation. In fact, today’s most effective leaders are those who have learned how to spur the growth of innovation across their organizations and throughout their teams.