Spotting Speed Leaders

So, do you have what it takes to be a speed leader? Does the candidate whose resume you’re holding have what it takes? Unfortunately, identifying such leaders is not an exact science, but here are a few things to look for:

Do you Thrive in Messiness?

  • Do you have an insatiable curiosity?
  • Do you love to experiment (in food, reading material, entertainment, travel)?
  • Do you keep yourself in good shape mentally and physically?
  • Do you maintain extensive and diverse social and intellectual networks?
  • Have you failed and recovered?
  • Do you catch and exploit anomalies?

Do you Lead with a Light Hand?

  • Do you have the ability to rapidly assess situations and make decisions as a team member and as an individual?
  • Do you have strong convictions and can you explain them to others?
  • Do you listen to others, draw them out, and search for their convictions and passions?
  • Are you comfortable talking about values?
  • Do you love to lead but know how to follow?

Can you Arrest Time?

  • Can you both absorb an enormous variety of inputs and selectively respond?
  • Are you a first-class observer of trends, of social and physical cues, of changes in the environment?
  • Do you maintain calm in the face of confusion?
  • Are you aware of your impact on others?
  • Are you dedicated to practice?

Speed Leading: Qualities of Successful Leaders in the Digital Age
by Robert J. Thomas
Accenture, Research Note, May 5, 2001

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